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Steps to File a Death Claim on a Life Insurance Policy

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The loss of loved ones can be emotionally very draining; if it loved one happens to be the bread-earner, then it becomes financially challenging too.

Nothing can compensate the emotional void but having term life insurance can be a big saviour for the bread-earners family. They could take a death claim from the term/life insurance policy. Let’s guide you through this whole process!

In this article, we’ll be talking about the following things-
– What is a death claim?
– How can you make a death claim?
– What’s the time frame for claim settlement?
– What would you do if you lost the policy document?

 What is a Death Claim? 

Death claim is taken after the death of the insurance policyholder. This is a ‘formal request that is made by the nominee’ of that life insurance policy to the insurance company. This is done in order to seek the payment of the life cover amount on the death of the insured. So be sure of who you want to make your nominee. As after you, he/she will get the life cover.

How can you make a death claim? 

For your better understanding, mentioned below we have a step-by-step procedure to make a death claim:

 Step 1 

The most important thing to start off is to inform the life insurance company about the demise of the policyholder.

NOTE: Deaths within the insurance cover are classified under two categories; early death and non-early death. This is based on when the policy was bought, for instance, if the policyholder dies within 2 years of buying the policy then this will be considered as early death. So make sure to check the date of buying the policy.

 Step 2 

After informing the insurer, ask them for a claim intimation form. They will respond by asking for documentary evidence. Death certificates are a must! If the policyholder had purchased the policy online, then you could also fill the form online for the same.

 Step 3 

Prepare the documents beforehand only for processing a death claim. Mentioned below is the list of documents that you usually asked-
– Death Certificate from a local municipality
– Death claim form
– Original policy documents
– ID proof of the nominee
– Medical certificate (as proof of the cause of death)
– Age of the Insurer
– Police FIR (in case of unnatural death)
– Postmortem report (in case of unnatural death)
– Discharge form
– Hospital records/certificates (if the death caused due to an illness)
– Cremation certificates and employer certificate (in case of an early death)

What is the time frame for claim settlement? 

Claims are of 2 types, one is an early claim, and the other is a non-early claim. An early claim is triggered within a span of 3 years of commencement, whereas a non-early claim commences after 3 years. Generally, the process of non-early claims is settled within 10 working days. Early claims may take 45 days, sometimes even more.

Although, as per the regulations of IRDA (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority), the settlement of a claim should happen within 30 days of receiving all the documents, unless and until a specific one may require an investigation. The investigation will generally happen if the insurance companies are suspicious regarding the legitimacy of the claim. If an investigation takes place then the settlement process could take up to a maximum of 120 days to get complete.

What would you do if you lost the policy document? 

If due to any unfortunate event, you or your nominee ends up losing the policy document, be sure to inform your insurance company. There are some insurance companies that do charge a nominal fee for the issuance of a duplicate policy document. Here are the following things you can do:

– Write an application 

An application will be required to fill for the issuance of a duplicate policy document. In that written application the reason for the loss, policy details like policy number, cover, date of issuance, and details like whether or not the policy was assigned to someone, should be mentioned in that application.

– Indemnity Bond 

There are few insurance companies that might require an indemnity bond from the insured on an appropriate stamp paper. The purpose of this document aims at indemnifying the insurance company for any loss that may be caused due to any misuse or fraud through the original policy document.

– Publishing an Ad 

There are some insurance companies that do suggest the policyholders place an advertisement at their own expense regarding the loss. They will tell you to publish it in English daily in the state where the loss has occurred.


Death is something over which we don’t have any control. But what we can control is the happiness of our loved ones, after we are no more. This happiness we can get them by leaving some financial assistance for them. This we can provide, by getting a life insurance cover.

We at Fincart value people’s emotions. We know it is a tough situation, but we’ll help you provide a reason for your family to smile after you!