Is There a Time Limit for Claiming Life Insurance Death Benefits?

The common misconception about life insurance death benefits claim is that there is a time limit for it, but one should realize that this is not true. As long as the beneficiary on file submits proof that he or she is the rightful claimant of the death benefit, then the insurance has not right to withhold the amount. The beneficiary or the legal claimant has all the right to get all the premiums paid by the deceased policy holder as stipulated in the contract.

Required Forms in Claiming the Death Benefits
Most insurance companies will accept a copy of the death certificate of the policy holder. The claimant may personally submit this document together with a fully accomplished claim form that can easily be downloaded in their webpage or obtained from the insurance company’s home office or life insurance agent. Both of these forms are sufficient for the investigation and processing of the death benefits claim.

Collection of the Death Benefit
The insurance will notify the claimant if the request for the death benefit claim can already be collected. Normally, a check will be issued to the listed address on the claim form. The responsibility of cashing the check and management of the money rests on the claimants or beneficiaries. If the amount of money is quite big then the insurance company may issue periodic payments to the beneficiaries and request that the remaining amount be managed by their company in behalf of the beneficiary. Nevertheless, the decision will still rest in the hands of the beneficiary unless otherwise specified in the contract prior to the death of the original owner.

Guaranteeing fast processing of Death Benefits
To guarantee fast processing of death benefits, it would be best to fill out the claim forms accordingly. Include certifications, proofs of claim, power of attorney, and other documents which may further help prove that you are indeed the rightful beneficiary. If you receive no response from the insurance company within a month, then you may call their customer service representative just to follow-up when they received the forms. It will take them more or less a week to accomplish the processing but this will only be the case if there are no disputes that will be filed against your request. If other parties will present similar proofs of claim then the insurance company may submit a request to the court asking that the estate be handled through interpleader action.

This is the process wherein abandoned or unclaimed properties like estate are turned over to the state authority. This happens when the insurance company has extended all of its resources to find the beneficiary on file but fails to do so. The number of years varies from state to state but any person who wishes to claim these types of properties will be directed to the state’s department of abandoned property for the proper processing of the documents. So if you do not wish any of this to happen in the future, it is best to be knowledgeable of your parent’s insurance policies or if not know the places where will most likely keep this type of documents.