When your spouse or loved one dies, life insurance benefits are not paid automatically. As the beneficiary of a policy, it is up to you to file a claim in order to receive payment. You will need to contact your insurance agent or the insurer and complete and submit paperwork to the insurer.
More information regarding dealing with the loss of a loved one can be found in American General’s publication, When a Loved One Dies.
In addition to a standard life insurance policy, other policies may exist. These types of policies are usually kept with your loved one’s important papers in a file or a safety deposit box. If you can’t find a policy, but think it exists, you can contact his or her insurance agent. Additional information may be obtained from employers, banks, credit agencies, or social organizations. You can also look through loan or purchase contracts to find additional information. Here are a few types of insurance policies you could look for:
- Individually-owned life insurance is a standard life insurance policy. It is purchased by one person, and pays
benefits when the insured person dies.
- Employer-based group life insurance is offered by employers, often at no cost to the employee or through payroll deduction. Check your loved one’s pay stubs or call his or her employer.
- Accidental death and dismemberment policies are offered through employers, credit cards, or banks. These policies are often offered as part of a loan package or with a credit card and may pay a benefit if your spouse or family member died accidentally.