How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance Money when someone dies?

how long does it take to get life insurance money
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    Are you or someone you know the beneficiary of a life insurance policy? If so, you’re probably wanting to know, “How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance Money?”

    For the majority of situations, a life insurance death benefit will be paid within 30 days. This is typically the case with the best life insurance companies. You may even get paid in 7-10 days if you have all the required documents. Life insurance claims may take longer but usually not more than 60 days after the insured has passed away. How fast the policy is paid is typically determined by how the life insurance claim process goes.

    Get Your Claim Paid Faster!

    We’ve put together a guide to make sure your death benefit claim will be paid as soon as possible. Every claim is different and every life insurance company will carefully process each claim accordingly.

    Here are 5 steps to make the process quicker:

    1. Death Certificate: Every life insurance company will need a death certificate because proof that the insured has died in required.
    2. Beneficiary: Make sure to find out if you are the life insurance beneficiary and are the one to receive the death benefit.:
    3. Contact: Call the life insurance company’s 800 number. Contact your insurance company immediately and find out all of the required paperwork for the claim. You’ll want to speak with the claims department. The life insurance company will provide every beneficiary a claim form. The company will also provide you all the requirements and the mailing address to send this information.
    4. Organize: Collect all of the needed paperwork and make sure it is accurate before filing the claim.
    5. Agent: Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible if you need help or something is not correct.

    What Delays Life Insurance Claims?

    The death benefit can be delayed for a variety of reasons.

    • Multiple Beneficiaries: Life insurance policies that have additional beneficiaries can be a little more time consuming compared to single-beneficiary policies. If you are one of several beneficiaries on the same life insurance policy, it’s possible that you will have to wait longer before you are eligible to collect the death benefit.
    • Documentation is Incomplete: Be careful completing the claim forms. If anything is incomplete or inaccurate, you’re looking at a delay.
    • Death Certificate is Missing: Make sure you have the certified death certificate as it is a major requirement to receive the death benefit.
    • Suicide: Does life insurance pay for suicidal death? Life insurance companies often include a clause in their policies stating that no death benefit will be paid if death was from a suicide in the policy’s 1st two years.
    • Contestability Period: A life insurance policy’s contestability period usually occurs in the 1st two years of the policy. When the insured dies during this time, the insurer may investigate the cause of death. For example, if the insured died due to lung cancer- but bought a “Non Smoker Policy”, the life insurance company may investigate if they were a tobacco user.

    How You File a Life Insurance Claim

    Every life insurance company is different, but the overall process is very similar. Often times you can even visit the carrier’s website and download their list of requirements. Here are the most common steps to filing a claim:

    1. Get Copies of the Certified Death Certificate: The funeral home or hospital can provide you a copy of the death certificate. Make sure to get a few extra copies be on the safe side. Part of the claim process is providing the death certificate copy to the life insurance company.

    2. Find the name of the life insurance company: In order to start the claim for a personal life policy, you won’t need the actual paper policy in front of you to begin the claim. You do need to know which company issued the life insurance policy. Simply contact the carrier to begin the death benefit claims process.

    What about group life insurance policies through an employer? Get in touch with the employer’s HR department. Human resources will be able to provide you the name of the life insurance company that sold the group policy.

    3. Contact the insurance company. Call the claims department to speak with their representative. The claims departments job is to guide you the the entire process. You can even ask them how long it will take to get the insurance money.

    4. Submit your claim. After gathering all of the necessary paperwork, you can submit your claim. After submission, you will typically receive the death benefit anywhere from 1 week to 1 month.

    How Can You Receive Your Life Insurance Money?

    How is life insurance paid out to beneficiaries? Generally, you will choose a lump sum when receiving the life insurance death benefit. However, you can choose to receive a life insurance death benefit in a variety of ways.

    1. Lump sum: The entire death benefit will be paid as a 1 time payment.
    2. Installment payments: The death benefit will be paid out over over time.
    3. Interest income payments: The life insurance company pays a guaranteed death benefit payment on the interest earned up until you choose to take the remaining principal.
    4. Fixed period payments: Life insurance companies will pay not only the principal, but also the interest for a specific amount of time.
    5. Fixed amount payments: Life insurance companies will pay on a regular schedule a certain amount until the death benefit is exhausted.
    6. Life income payments: As the name implies, you will get paid for the rest of your life. As long as you’re alive, your payments will be guaranteed. The amount paid will be based on your age.
    7. Specific income payments: You may choose how long and for how much you’ll be paid every month. If you were to pass away, the beneficiary you chose will get the remaining death benefit.
    8. Last survivor income: If you are not the sole beneficiary and there are additional beneficiaries to the policy- the life insurance company pays until the last beneficiary is deceased.

    >>More: Life Insurance Settlement Options

    Life Insurance Company Claims

    Here is a list of some of the more popular life insurance claims pages

    How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance Money?

    The bottom line is that each state will have different laws regarding the maximum amount of time a carrier can take to complete the claims process. Just know that if you follow the steps above, you should receive your payment faster (7-30 days).

    Thanks for reading our post How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance Money? We hope you have a better understanding of how quickly life insurance payouts after death as well as the life insurance claims process. Please contact us if you have any questions about life insurance or visit our Life Insurance Rates by Age to see sample quotes and more.

    Michael Quinn

    Michael Quinn

    Michael is a licensed life insurance agent, expert & owner of Life Insurance Blog. LIB has helped thousands of shoppers understand life insurance and secure affordable coverage.

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