When a loved one dies, one of your first responsibilities is to pay for their funeral and burial, or any other end of life arrangements they may have made. This often requires filing a payout claim on their life insurance policies, so you won’t have to cover these costs out of your own pocket.
To file a life insurance claim, you must have the policy so that you can supply the insurance representative with accurate information. Even then, filing a claim is a complex matter and, while you may feel frustrated, you must understand that it’s necessarily complicated. The insurance company wants to ensure you have the right to claim the payout, so the individual’s rightful beneficiaries are protected.
Death Investigations are Sometimes Necessary
In some cases, the insurance company may contact you with questions about the life insurance policyholder. This is often the first indication that a death investigation is underway and that you should expect further inquiries into the deceased person’s affairs. Typically, an insurance company will launch a death investigation when a policyholder died under suspicious circumstances.
In many cases, a death investigation may just be a standard part of processing a claim, but some investigations are started when there are suspicions about the policyholder. The insurance company may suspect the policyholder of using false identification, or they may suspect the individual of faking his or her death. These types of suspicions are more commonly raised in cases where the policyholder dies within a year or two of taking out the policy. This often indicates a plan to defraud the insurance company, so they will take significant steps to ensure the death is authentic before paying out.
As the beneficiary, you can help the investigation by providing a copy of the official death certificate to the insurance company. The medical examiner will have determined the cause of death and may have done an autopsy to confirm that the individual died from natural causes. The insurance company wants to make sure the death wasn’t the result of homicide or manslaughter, because that would require a more intensive investigation. The insurance company wants to avoid providing benefits to the individual responsible for causing the death, so they will often hire a private investigator to look into the matter.
If you suspect the death of your loved one is under investigation by the insurance company, the best action to take is to contact the company. They may have recommendations for things you can do to move the investigation along a little faster. They just want to ensure the death was reported accurately and that there was no foul play before settling your claim.