Death Claim settlement is one of the most important responsibilities that an insurance company has to fulfil towards its policyholders and claimants. This service has assumed greater importance in the wake of COVID-19 for all life insurance companies. Life insurance companies have an obligation to decide and settle claims promptly.
While insurance companies offer various options to the claimants of bereaved life assured to file a death claim, especially in times like these, where mobility itself is a significant constraint and risk, insurance companies offer various digital options for easy claim intimation by the claimant. Generally, life insurance company websites offer the provision to file the death intimations digitally and also have the death claim intimation form which if required by the claimant can be printed and completed and couriered to the insurance company.
It may also be noted that life insurance falls under ‘essential services’ and most of the life insurance companies have their branch offices open (based on local conditions) to provide all kinds of policyholder service, including claim registration by claimants.
For an insurance company to promptly assess the death claim and quickly initiate the process, the claimant must intimate the death claim at the earliest with the required documentation/ information. The details required on the digital claim intimation form should be accurately filled, and it should contain basic information such as policy number, name of the life assured, date of death, cause and place of death, and name of the claimant. The claimant can complete the claim intimation digitally through the company website, obtain the form from the nearest local branch office of the insurance company or through their insurance advisor/ agent.
Along with the claim intimation form, the claimant also needs to provide original policy document, death certificate, police FIR and post mortem report (for accidental death), certification/records from the treating doctor/hospital (for death due to illness), KYC and bank details of the nominee, and claimant’s statement. If the death has occurred due to COVID-19, you need to provide relevant proof confirming the same along with the mentioned documents.
Settlement of Claim: As per the regulatory requirements, the insurer must settle a claim within 30 days of receipt of all documents, including clarification sought by the insurer. If the claim requires further investigation, the insurer has to complete its procedures expeditiously, in any case not later than 90 days from the date of receipt of claim intimation, and the claim must be settled within 30 days thereafter.
Claim services during COVID times: All life insurance companies are regularly monitoring the intimations received, especially those where the cause of death is due to COVID, and ensuring that such claims are assessed and decided expeditiously and as a good governance practice, the status of all COVID-related death claims are shared daily by life insurance companies with IRDAI also.
To maintain customers’ safety, insurance companies under the direction of the IRDAI have communicated and published on their website about all digital options available at their fingertips to access their insurers and avail of services, including claims.
Besides, if any more clarifications are required, the claimants should contact the insurance company contact centre/ helpline; write an e-mail to the customer care team, or avail of any customer service touch point offered by the insurance company.
(By S Mahesh, EVP & Head–Operations, Future Generali India Life Insurance Company Ltd)