Making a claim on a Life Insurance Policy

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It is never easy losing a loved one. Aside from the emotional impact you might need to arrange things like the funeral, obtaining probate/letters of administration and sorting out their affairs. It can be a challenge for even the most capable person never mind when you are dealing with a bereavement. There are many organisations that can offer support such as the tell us once service and probate helpline. We also have a partnership with Cruse Bereavement who are a UK based charity that supports those with the emotional impact of losing someone close to you.


When it come to making a claim on a life policy the process is simple. In this column we will discuss what the claims process looks like, types of life insurance, things to look out for and where to turn if you are experiencing any issues. We will also discuss how to challenge rejected insurance claims and claims declined due to non-disclosure.


Types of policies

There a two main types of policies. The first being ‘term insurance’. This type of life cover is designed to cover a certain amount of money over a specified period. These policies are often taken out to protect something like a mortgage or other debt. The policy can be taken out on a ‘level term’ basis which means that the insured amount stays the same over the term, or a ‘decreasing term’ which means it reduces over the term of the policy (much like your mortgage balance may decrease). The other type of policy is a whole of life cover plan. This is like the ‘Over 50’s’ plans you hear about on TV. Typically, they cover a set amount, and you pay the premium for the rest of your life (or until a certain age but the cover is lifelong). Some of these policies (like the Over 50’s plans) do not have any underwriting criteria and you’re guaranteed to be accepted. Instead, you normally must survive for 12/24 months after taking out the policy, known as a deferment period. Policies that are underwritten when the application is submitted tend to not have a deferment period.

When you make a claim on an insurance policy this can be done over the phone or online. You will normally have to provide a copy of the death certificate along with a copy of a will or probate/letters of administration. If the policy was ‘in trust’ (where the policy holder nominated a beneficiary) or if the policy was jointly held you might only need the death certificate.

Insurance companies normally write to the persons GP for confirmation of the death and sometimes seek more information (this wouldn’t happen for guaranteed over 50’s plans). On occasion the insurance company may find information that leads them to believe that there may have been a non-disclosure. A non-disclosure is where the insurance company believe that a relevant piece of information was not disclosed to them when the application was made. You can see our blog on non-disclosure here for more information. Depending on the severity of the information left out a life insurance claim may be rejected due to non-disclosure.

Most successful claims are paid out within 4-6 weeks of the claim being made but can take longer depending on various factors.

If you have a life insurance claim rejected or are struggling to get an insurance pay-out due to non-disclosure, it is important you get advice right away. At Resolute Claims we see an increasing number of customers being unfairly treated by their insurance company when it come to seeking further medical evidence. We have been successful in appealing rejected Life insurance claims.

In 2019 there were almost 66,913 claims made on life insurance policies (a mixture of term and whole of life cover), which resulted in total pay-outs of over £97,000,000. Unfortunately, though there is almost 30 policies each week that result in the claiming being declined, over £2,300,000 each week or £120,000,000 each year.

At Resolute Claims we offer to check, for free, if you have been unfairly treated by your insurance provider. Once we have carried out the assessment, we can advise you the best course of action. If you decide to use our service, we operate on a no win, no fee basis. Our standard fee is amongst the lowest in the market.

If you need any help, please get in touch.


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