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Life Insurance in times of COVID-19: How to file claims, documents required and other questions answered

Life Insurance in times of COVID-19: How to file claims, documents required and other questions answered

Life Insurance in times of COVID-19: How to file claims, documents required and other questions answered
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By CNBCTV18.com Contributor Jul 13, 2020 11:17:38 AM IST (Updated)

One of the key areas while accessing life insurance services online is claims filing and receipt.

Authored by V Viswanand

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Since the beginning of lockdown in the country, many life insurance companies across the board have started to digitize their operations to actively enable contactless customer journeys through online services for all transactions.
While the shift to online was already taking place pre-COVID-19, physical distancing has only accelerated the pace and customers today can be found increasingly managing their policy transactions online, be it policy issuance, premium renewal, or intimating about claims.
One of the key areas while accessing your life insurance services online is claims filing and receipt. Traditionally for claims, since customers are used to directing exchanges with life insurers or agents, it is likely that they may face difficulty in digitally managing the same. With the onset of digital processes in managing claims, here are four key considerations that can help simplify the entire process of online claims settlement for a digital customer.
How to intimate claims during COVID-19 time?
During this period, many life insurance companies are accepting claim intimations through email and WhatsApp. One can send claim documents via email to their respective insurers’ email address and seek any additional support.
It is advisable to intimate the claim at the earliest in the event of the policyholder’s demise.
What are the documents required to file a claim with the company?
To enable faster and smoother claims processing, all documents should be consolidated before applying for a claim. All claims are examined and settled by life insurers on the basis of information present in documents submitted in connection to the claim. It is advisable to provide complete information.
Typically for a death claim, documents required are policy document, original/attested copy of death certificate issued by the local municipal authority, death claim application form, an NEFT mandate form attested by bank authorities along with a canceled cheque of bank account passbook along with nominee's photo identity proof, a discharge/death summary attested by hospital authorities or FIR and post mortem report/viscera report (in case of accidental death).
How can one know the status of the claim?
Recently, IRDAI mandated insurers to provide live claim status on their websites that could enable policyholders to track claims status by themselves over the insurance company’s portal/website/apps.
Currently too since all courier services/postal services remain impacted, most life insurers are sharing all communications with the claimant through digital and other mediums like calls, SMS and email to keep one updated on the status of their claim.
What can one do to ensure faster, smoother claims settlement?
All valid death claims are generally required to be settled within 30 days after all necessary documents /clarifications have been received. In case, the claim warrants further verification, it may take up to 120 days to settle the claim.
However, a life insurance company can reject the claim if it has reason to believe that any important detail/information was suppressed. The most common reason for claims rejection is false or fabricated claims or non-disclosure of facts with regards to an individual's health.
There are certain things claimants can do to ensure faster, smoother claims processing such as filling out insurance applications themselves to disclose all crucial information, pay premiums on time, accept medical examinations, update nominee information correctly and thoroughly scrutinize policy documents before submission.
Ensuring that your claim gets settled is as important as buying a life insurance policy. As a basic principle, one must always consider the claims process and the claims paid ratio of a life insurance company before buying a policy.
Comparing the claims paid ratios of different life insurers which is available on insurer and IRDAI websites can help select the one best positioned to take care of your future liabilities.
V Viswanand is Deputy Managing Director at Max Life Insurance. Views are personal
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