Adjusting to the loss of a loved one is stressful emotionally, physically, and financially for families trying to navigate complex estate matters. For many, finding out the deceased had a life insurance policy or named them as a beneficiary can come as a surprise. So, what happens if you don't learn about this policy until months or even years later? Can you still file a claim, or is there a time limit, and you've lost your rights to a payout?
Many circumstances can cause a beneficiary to get a claim submitted to the insurer, including:
Many of us know that our parents or spouses have a policy, but we don't know the details of the coverage or who the carrier is. So when you are in a situation where a family member passes away and need to determine who the insurer is for their life insurance, some investigation may be in order.
Review the following resources in your search:
Credit card bills
Mail and/or email
Another common cause for a beneficiary delaying their request for death benefits is they weren't away; they were a designated heir. Much like trying to determine who the insurer is for the policy, you likely won't know you have a payout claim until you get more information about the coverage.
In situations where a beneficiary files a claim years after the fact, it's often because no one knew the life insurance policy ever existed. It's not uncommon for the insurer to send reminders about premiums going unpaid or correspondence about changes in company practices to customers that have coverage with them. When these clues arrive or get found in boxed away belongings, relatives discover a policy existed.
Surprisingly, this happens more often than you think. Situations like this happen when someone with a valid claim makes the call to the insurer, and a representative determines that no claim will be paid. This is often due to a misunderstanding of the facts surrounding the death of your loved one. If the insurance company tells you not to file, consult with our experienced life insurance attorneys right away.
Every year, millions of benefits go unclaimed. What happens if you don't know about the policy or keep putting off claiming the death benefits you're entitled to as a beneficiary? Eventually, the insurer will send the funds to your loved one's state of residence to hold in an account with the department responsible for unclaimed property. To still get the payout you are owed, you will have to contact this office and go through the process of claiming the benefits.
When choosing a life insurance attorney, you need a legal professional to confront unreasonable delays and denials head-on. You can count on our life insurance attorneys to help you get the death benefits you need to move forward after losing your loved one. Reach us online today.