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 Claim

The amount of time it takes an insurance company to pay out on a life insurance claim depends on how quickly you provide them with documentation, how long the insurance policy has been in effect, whether there is any question about cause of death and how efficient the claims processing department of the company is.

In the best case scenario, when you hand over a death certificate and there are no delays, you may receive the benefits check in as little as two weeks. In a worst case scenario the process may drag on for several months or more.

Take a look at the specifics that make that decision and then be sure to enter your ZIP above for free insurance quotes!

Documentation for a Life Insurance Claim

When a loved one dies, you must submit a copy of the death certificate to the life insurance company before they can start the process of paying out the benefits. Don’t worry; often the funeral home director can take care of obtaining copies of the death certificate for you. You will need several and this person can give you an idea of how many you will need to provide. If the insured person has had the life insurance policy for three years or more, and there is no question about the cause of death, then the procedure should more forward rather quickly.

You may receive a form letter from the insurer saying that they are investigating and will give you a response in 30 or 60 days. Don’t let this frustrate you.

As long as no one is contesting your right as beneficiary, cause of death is verified, and the policy has been in good standing for a few years, it probably won’t take that long.

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The Contestability Period and Cause of Death

In life insurance, any policy that has been in existence for less than two years (or around that two year mark) is considered in the contestability period and will be investigated more thoroughly. From the insurer’s perspective, it is statistically less likely for a younger person who has recently taken out an insurance policy to die, although it certainly happens. For this reason, someone from the company will be assigned to make sure that neither a suicide nor unreported pre-existing conditions contributed to the death. If they did then the insurance company will likely contest the claim. Any evidence of fraud will be investigated. In this instance, even if everything is proven to be above board, the wait time for the claim could be a few months.

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Life Insurance Claims Processing Efficiency

does it take the insurance company to paySo how long does it take for a payout on life insurance? The final factor that will determine how quickly your claims check is sent out is based on the company itself. If they have a quick and efficient system to process claims you are in luck. Of course, not every company is as efficient as their ads claim to be. In seeking out a life insurance company you can look into their reputation for claims payout on blogs.

Just keep in mind the most disgruntled folks are often the most vocal. Still, if one company has an angry hoard in a forum, it’s probably a sign of how they do business. You can also find out each company’s estimated ability to pay out future claims on analyst websites like AM Best that run independent audits on insurance providers.

If may vary how long to get life insurance payouts. There are situations where the time to receive a claim check will be greatly extended. This occurs when the insurer needs a length of time to investigate the situations mentioned earlier. Even so, every state has laws that require the company to act in a reasonable period of time. This time frame varies from state to state, but can be found out by contacting your state insurance commissioner.

So, if it is taking longer than you think it should to receive the pay out on a life insurance claim you should start by first contacting the company, and then the state.

Finding the Fastest Life Insurance Claims Processing

Finding the best life insurance claims processing is maybe the same as finding the very best life insurance provider. Enter your zip code into the free rate finder to get started comparison shopping life insurance quotes online!