I recently experienced first-hand the usefulness of life insurance when a relative passed away unexpectedly. The life insurance policy diligently maintained served as a lifeline for his family during that trying time. It brought home the realisation that life insurance must be well-maintained. How can one ensure frictionless life insurance claim payments?

B. Pranav

Here in India, the life insurance scene is buzzing with activity. According to data available from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), in 2021-22, insurers in the country disbursed ₹45,817 crore in death claims. The claim settlement ratio of the life insurance industry has risen from 98.39 per cent in 2020-21 to 98.64 per cent in 2021-22.

To access the promised benefits, whether it’s the maturity payout or the death benefit, you or your nominees must initiate a claim with your insurance provider. If the claim holds up and proves valid, your insurer will fulfil its commitment.

Here are 7 such steps you need to take to increase the chances of having your claim settled.

1.   Pay your premiums on time

One of your primary responsibilities as a life insurance policyholder is to pay your premiums on time. If you fail to do so, it can lead to your policy lapsing, thus making your insurance coverage ineffective. This, in turn, means you cannot raise a claim on the policy. To avoid this issue and to maintain the validity of your policy, make it a habit to pay your premiums by the due date.

2.   Update the nomination details

Life insurance policies allow you to nominate a beneficiary who will receive the benefits in case of your demise. Keeping this information up to date ensures that your intended beneficiary can claim the benefits without any complications. So, regularly review and update the nomination details in your insurance policy in case there are any material changes that need to be made.

3.   Inform your nominee about the policy

Your nominated beneficiary can submit a claim on your policy only if they are aware that such a cover exists. So, inform your nominee about the existence of your life insurance policy and provide them with the necessary details. This will allow them to be aware of the coverage and policy details so they can initiate the claim process promptly if required.

4.   Read the policy document thoroughly

Before purchasing any insurance policy, you need to read the policy document carefully. This will help you understand the inclusions, exclusions and other terms and conditions mentioned in the policy. Being well-informed about the coverage will help you make accurate claims and prevent any unexpected developments that could lead to claim rejection.

5.   File a claim promptly

In case a claimable incident that is included in the policy occurs, you (or your nominee, as the case may be) should file an insurance claim promptly. The incident may be an accident, illness, or loss of life. Insurance companies usually have specific timeframes within which claims must be reported, and delaying the claim submission may give the insurer grounds to reject it.

6.   Fill in the details of your claim accurately

When you submit a claim, ensure that you provide all the necessary information accurately and in detail. Include supporting documents and evidence like medical records, invoices, photographs or police reports, depending on the nature of the claim. Failing to provide accurate information may lead to claim rejection or delays in processing the claim.

7.   Avoid concealing information

Honesty is crucial when you are submitting a request for a life insurance payout. So, you will have to disclose all relevant information truthfully, right from the time of buying the policy, even if it may impact your premiums or eligibility. Concealing vital facts or providing false information at the time of purchase can result in claim denial at a later stage.

The writer is Chief Direct Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance

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