While there may be many out there who might not even know that their spouse took one or more life insurance policies during his life time, these mortals, despite in the know of it could not do much to get the amount after the demise of the insured.

These real life incidents should make one realise how important it is to know your legal rights.

An army major, who took a policy when he was still a bachelor, had nominated his brother. After his marriage and the birth of two daughters, the major loses his life in a war.

His brother, who is named as a nominee, refuses to let go the claim in favour of the major’s wife, even though she is legally entitled to it.

“Life Insurance Corporation of India cannot settle the claim if the beneficiaries are not together. The mother of the deceased is a beneficiary as per Hindu Law. We intervened, spoke to the parties concerned and settled the issue. In the bargain, the major’s wife agreed to give some amount to her brother-in-law, lest the amount is left unclaimed with LIC,’’ said P. Srinivasan, an LIC agent.

Stating that India is governed by religious laws, Srinivasan cited another instant, where his client, a muslim, opted for a life cover in secrecy, as Mohammedan Law forbade them from taking a cover.

“The insured dies. Though the trader had named his wife as the nominee, approaching a muslim widow for complying with the legal formalities to claim the insured sum, we realised, was next to impossible. Though the amount payable was not huge, the father of the deceased made it clear that he would not part with the policy papers, unless and until his daughter-in-law shared the proceeds equally with all the family members. She was forced to relent.’’

She could not go to the court as her father-in-law sought the Jamaad to intervene.