Making a life insurance claim: a guide

The period after someone close to you has died is difficult. Read our guide to help you through making a life insurance claim.

Kamran Altaf From the Life team
minute read

1. Find any relevant policy details

When taking out life cover – or any other type of insurance – it’s good practice to keep all the relevant policy documents where they can be easily found. This can get tricky, of course, when you need to find someone else’s policy details. If you’re unsure of the deceased’s life insurance provider, then the Association of British Insurers (ABI) could help. Look for the register of consolidations on their website.


2. Contact the deceased’s life insurance provider

When you’ve found the relevant policy details, read them and find out if the person is covered. Contact the provider to let them know you plan to make a claim. (Their number will usually be listed on the policy document and on their website.) Life insurance providers have considerate staff who regularly deal with people who are grieving; they may also be able to make certain arrangements on your behalf.

3. Make a claim

It’s likely that you’ll need to submit various documents along with a claim form. Be sure to complete the form accurately so that your claim isn’t delayed. There are many different types of life insurance and if your claim relates to someone who’s died, one of the most important documents will be the death certificate which shows the cause of death. A provider will need to see a certified copy of the death entry, and you’ll be able to get this when you register the death with the funeral director.

You’ll then need to send the insurance provider the claim form, the original life insurance policy and death certificate, and any other relevant documents they ask for.


Who gets a life insurance pay-out?

The person who receives a life insurance pay-out is usually named as the beneficiary in the policy document. If the deceased passed away during the term of the policy, a provider will often just pay the beneficiary.

If you’re the next of kin, you might need to sign a form that grants a provider access to the deceased’s medical reports – often done via your general practitioner (GP). In some circumstances, a provider might need access to the records if they have reasonable grounds to believe that any relevant information was withheld at the time when the policy was taken out.

How long does it take to get a pay-out?

If the life policy was written in trust, a pay-out’s usually quite straightforward and could take a few weeks. That’s because any proceeds are paid out without needing to wait for probate, which is the legal process of adding up and distributing a deceased’s wealth and property. If the policy isn’t written in trust (or you aren’t named in a joint life insurance policy) you can expect to wait longer for a pay-out – around six months or more.


Why could a life insurance policy be invalidated?

A life insurance policy could be invalidated, and a claim won’t be paid, if it’s proved that the deceased wasn’t accurate about their medical history or lifestyle. It’s possible to appeal to the Financial Ombudsman if you disagree with a decision that’s made on a life insurance policy.

If you feel you need more advice on life insurance, you can speak to LifeSearch, our friendly partners, on 0800 072 1251 (Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm Sat 9am - 2.30pm).

Why use Compare the Market?

It could take a couple of minutes** to get a quote through our comparison service. Get a life insurance quote and see if you can find a policy that brings peace of mind for you and the ones you love.

**On average it can take less than 2 minutes to complete a life insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in September 2019.

Start a quote

Compare life insurance

Get a life insurance quote and start saving now

Get a quote