Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Life insurance companies don’t pay out on a policy unless it can confirm the death of the insured. The beneficiary or beneficiaries need to apply to receive the death benefit from the insurance company.

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The insurer will need to see a copy of the death certificate before paying out on the policy. The beneficiary will also need to complete and submit a claim form before any money will be paid out.

How do I provide a death certificate?

The death certificate is a document that is issued by the local government of a jurisdiction. It lists the date and location of a person’s death. The official cause of death is also included on the form.

The document is issued as a way to determine the cause of death to determine whether it involved a case of foul play. The burial or cremation arrangements may need to be put on hold until the cause of death can be determined. A death certificate can also be used to track public health issues by allowing officials to compile statistics on causes of death in various communities.

Before an official death certificate can be issued, a doctor or the local coroner to confirm the cause of death, as well as the identity of the person who has passed away. This documentation must be forwarded to the government promptly; failure to do so may be considered a crime and a physician who does not do so may also be facing loss of license to practice medicine. Most often the funeral director can obtain copies of the death certificate for you as a part of the service. You will simply send this to the life insurance company.

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What is a life insurance claim form?

The insurance claim form for proof of death must be submitted to the insurance company before the company will pay out on a claim. The beneficiary needs to fill out the form carefully by setting out the full name and address of the deceased. The insurance company will also need to see the policy number and the face value of the policy set out.

The claim form may also ask for a copy of deceased’s social security card and driver’s license. The original policy must be submitted to the insurance company along with the form. A certified copy of the death certificate is also required, and the beneficiary needs to take the necessary steps to get this document first. To confirm the deceased’s identity, the beneficiary must also provide the deceased’s date and location of birth.

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The insurer may also ask for other information, such as whether the deceased has consulted a physician for the condition that ultimately led to his or her death. The company needs to gather information to determine whether the deceased had provided accurate information about his or her health when applying for coverage. The beneficiary must also indicate whether he or she knows of any reason why the claim should not be paid.

The date and cause of death will be noted on the form. The insurance company may have questions about whether the deceased was a smoker and, if so, how much tobacco he or she used. If the person was rated a non-smoker when the policy was issued, the insurance company may refuse to pay out on the policy. The names of any doctor the deceased consulted may be asked for, since the insurance company may have questions for his or her treating physicians.

What if other insurance policies exist?

When a claim is being made on a life insurance policy, the insurer will also want to know whether the deceased was covered under any other insurance policies. In signing the claim form, the beneficiary is indicating that he or she is the rightful beneficiary under the policy and that all the statements being made on the form are true and accurate.

In the case of a large insurance policy, the company is likely to conduct a more detailed investigation about the circumstances of the policyholder’s death. It’s their right to make sure that there are no reasons why coverage should be denied under the circumstances, and things like lying on the application form is one reason why an insurer may deny coverage.

When a person dies, the beneficiary or beneficiaries need to provide a lot of information so the insurance company can determine that there are no reasons why it should deny coverage. The persons named on the policy who will receive the death benefit need to provide the appropriate information for the insurance company to confirm the policyholder’s death as well. Without the right documentation appropriately filled out, the insurance company will not be able to pay out on the claim.

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