Obviously, we hope that none of our clients ever make a claim on their life insurance policy. But, from time to time, claims need to be made. Here is our step-by-step guide to what happens when you make a life insurance claim.
We should note that you can ‘DIY’ an insurance claim. However, for most people, life insurance is complex and many people find making a claim a daunting or unduly time-consuming prospect. We always encourage clients to use an adviser to handle a life insurance claim. As with many things in life, using a professional generally leads to better outcomes.
Step 1. Contact your Adviser
Financial advisers do not just help put policies in place. We also assist you if and when a claim needs to be made on that policy. So, the first thing you should do if you think you may be eligible for a benefit is contact us.
The first thing we will do is review your policy to assess whether it covers the kind of event that has occurred. Sometimes this is simple. For example, if you have death cover and you die your policy is likely to be triggered. Sometimes, this is more complex. Whether you are eligible to make a claim under an income protection or TPD policy may depend on the particulars of your illness or injury. We can assist you to assess whether or not you will be eligible for a claim.
The adviser who helps you lodge your claim does not need to be the same adviser who assisted you to put the policy in place in the first case. It is quite common for financial advisers to first be engaged by their client at a time when a claim needs to be made. So, if you don’t have an adviser but need to make a claim, don’t worry: you can still get in touch with us and we can still take you through the following steps.
Step 2. Contact the Insurer
We can then contact the insurer for you. All insurers have paperwork that needs to be completed. This might seem daunting to you – but for us it is all very familiar. We will ensure that all required paperwork will be completed and lodged with the appropriate people.
We always take the time to explain what each step of the process involves and why it is required. After all, we are your advisers.
Step 3. The Insurer Assesses the Claim
Obviously, insurers won’t simply pay money because they are asked to. They will take whatever steps are necessary to verify the claim.
Once again, sometimes this is simple. Again, in the event of a death, the insurer will typically need only a certified copy of the death certificate. If the death was unusual, or if there were exclusions on the policy, the insurer may assess the cause of death to ensure that the policy is valid in that situation.
Sometimes, the assessment is more complicated. There is no specific format that insurers follow to assess a more complicated claim. If the claim is complex, they will seek further information from you. Generally, the requests for this information flow through us as your adviser. Therefore, we will continue to work closely with you through the assessment phase to ensure that valid claims are properly handled by the insurer.
Step 4. Receive the Benefit
once a claim has been accepted, benefits become available. Different types of insurance give rise to different types of benefit. Death cover is typically paid as a lump sum, for example, whereas income protection cover is generally paid as an income stream over the specified period.
Once again, we will assist you to receive your benefit as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Talk to Us
If something has happened and you are not sure whether your life insurance policy covers it, please get in touch with us. Many people are surprised to find that they are insured for unexpected events that impact on their health or ability to earn a living.