A how-to guide to life insurance claims
Life insurance is a safeguard that many Australians turn to for many different reasons. Not only can it help to give you peace of mind that your loved ones will be financially taken care of during a difficult time, but it can also mean that the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to build won’t be disrupted.
But when the need to make a claim arises, what exactly do you need to do?
Understanding the claims journey
Having to make a life insurance claim often comes at a time of high emotion and stress, so you don’t want to have to jump through hoops to get all the paperwork sorted. The good news is that when it comes to claim time, the process typically involves a few essential steps, depending on your insurance provider.
How to make a life insurance claim
Life insurance claims require careful attention to detail to make sure the process is as seamless as possible. Here’s a quick look at the four main steps you’ll want to follow:
1. Gather the essential documents
Before you can start the claims process in earnest, you need to gather all the main documents. Start by sourcing the life insurance policy – this holds the key information about the coverage, terms, conditions and exclusions.
You should also collect any identification documents, such as a driver's licence or passport. For specific events, like a death claim, having a death certificate or medical reports from healthcare providers will be required. Your insurer might have additional requirements as well, so make sure you review the policy documents for anything else they might need.
2. Initiate the claims process
Time is of the essence when it comes to making a life insurance claim. Immediately contact the insurer or their designated representative once an insured event has happened. Use the contact details provided in the policy documents or the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or head to the insurance provider’s website where they may have specific information about how to make a claim.
While it will likely be a highly emotional time, taking care of this process quickly will give the insurer enough time to start assessing your claim. Remember to keep detailed records of all communications, noting down the date, time and name of the person you speak to for future reference.
3. Fill out the paperwork
Once you’ve notified the insurer, they will generally provide you with claim forms to fill out. Pay close attention to this paperwork and make sure they are filled out accurately and in full. Precision when providing life insurance information will reduce any potential delays during the assessment process.
Along with the claim forms, be prepared to submit any supplementary documentation requested by the insurer. Doing so in a timely manner may help speed up the assessment of your claim and make everything hassle-free.
4. Know who to contact for follow-ups
If you want to stay informed about the progress of your claim, make sure you have clear lines of communication with the insurer and keep in regular contact. Always respond to their requests for additional information or documentation as soon as possible.
If it makes things easier for you, choose a specific contact person or department within the insurer for easier follow-ups. Being proactive and persistent in seeking updates may help reduce potential bottlenecks and allow your claim to receive the attention it deserves.
6 tips for a smooth claims process
- Organise documents effectively: Maintain a well-organised file that contains all essential documents related to your life insurance policy. This should include the policy itself, payment records for premiums, as well as any correspondence with your insurer.
- Stay informed and proactive: Keep yourself updated on the progress of your claim. Regularly speak to the insurer and respond to any queries or requests for additional information quickly.
- Provide accurate information: Make sure all the information provided on the claim is accurate and up to date. Any discrepancies or incorrect details could cause the assessment process to drag out.
- Be flexible and available: Cooperate with any investigations or assessments requested by the insurer. This might require you to provide extra information or undergo medical examinations (if required).
- Understand policy terms: Familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of your life insurance policy. You should know which events are covered and any exclusions that might apply to avoid misunderstandings when making a claim.
- Seek help whenever needed: If you encounter difficulties or have specific concerns during the claims process, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a financial advisor or legal professional.
Navigating a life insurance claim can be a complex process, but with the right knowledge and documentation it can run smoothly. Always refer to your specific policy and insurance provider’s guidelines for how to make a life insurance claim with them.
18 Jan 2024