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How to ensure your life and funeral claims are approved – quickly

8 March 2021
5 minute read

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In these challenging times, when many families are struggling financially, the pay-out from a life or funeral policy can help ease the financial distress of losing a loved one. That’s why we want to pay claims as quickly as possible - so you can use your pay-out for a funeral or other expenses. We chatted to the 1Life Claims Team to find out what you will need for a life policy or funeral policy claim, and how to avoid any delay in approval and payment of claims.

Before a claim
There are a few simple things you, as a life assured on a life policy or principal member on a funeral policy, can do before the time comes to claim that will make the claims process easier and faster. The following are the most important.

 

Check your policy has the correct details
Check that you have the full name (make sure that it is correctly spelt), ID number and contact details, where required, for the following.

Life policy:

  • The life assured
  • Policy owner, if different to the life assured
  • Beneficiaries

Funeral policy:

  • Principal member (when policy members pass the claim is paid to the principal member)
  • Beneficiary (when the principal member passes a claim is paid to the policy beneficiary) 
  • Policy members

Top tip: You can check and update certain of your policy details on the policyholder login.

Make sure you fully disclose all medical conditions for life insurance policies
Check that you have disclosed any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or a family history of a serious illness such as cancer.

Pay your premiums on time
Sadly, one of the main reasons claims are declined is because premiums are not paid. When premiums aren’t paid an insurance policy lapses (is cancelled) and claims can be declined.

You can read more about what to do if your policy lapses here and how to make insurance more affordable here.

Understand your cover, in particular, any waiting periods or exclusions
If you claim for an event that occurred in a waiting period, the claim won’t be paid. Similarly, if you claim for an excluded event the claim won’t be paid. For example, funeral policies have a six-month waiting period for death due to natural causes. If you claim on a funeral policy for death due to a heart attack (a natural cause of death) in the second month of the policy, the claim will not be paid.

You can find more information about waiting periods and any exclusions that apply to your policy in your policy schedule. You can also speak to one of our consultants or your financial adviser for more information.

You can find our contact details here.

Tell your beneficiaries where and how to claim
Make sure your beneficiaries know where your policy documents are kept and the contact number of the 1Life claims team, 0861 10 51 96.

Make sure important documents are easily available 
As the life assured on a life policy or principal member on a funeral policy you should:

  • Tell your beneficiaries where you keep your ID document as they will need this for a claim.
  • Principal members should also ask additional members on a funeral policy where they keep their IDs as these will be needed for a claim if they pass on

When you or your beneficiaries claim
Give us the right documentation
We can process claims faster when we have the right documentation. The documents we will need from your beneficiaries include:

For life policies:

  • Completed claim form
  • Certified copies of ID for the life assured
  • Certified copies of IDs for the beneficiary or beneficiaries
  • Stamped bank statements not older than 3 months of the beneficiary or beneficiaries so we know we are paying a claim into the right bank account
  •  Certified copies of the Notice of Death and Death Certificate from the Department of Home Affairs - the undertaker or funeral director will usually obtain these
  • Police report for an unnatural death, such as a shooting or motor vehicle accident - 1Life will send you the form that needs to be completed.

For funeral policies:

  • Certified copies of ID for the deceased member
  • Certified copies of ID for the principal member, or beneficiary if the principal member is the deceased
  • Stamped bank statements of the principal member, or beneficiary if the principal member is the deceased, so we know we are paying a claim into the right bank account
  • Certified copies of the Notice of Death and Death Certificate from the Department of Home Affairs - the undertaker or funeral director will usually obtain these
  • Police report for an unnatural death, such as a shooting or motor vehicle accident - 1Life will send you the form that needs to be complete

Most of our claims are processed with the documents above and if we need more information or documents one of our claims consultants will contact you.

Make sure the beneficiaries’ contact details are up to date

Make sure we can contact you
We cannot stress enough how important it is that we have updated contact details for the beneficiary or beneficiaries on a life policy and the principal member, or beneficiary if the principal member is the deceased, on a funeral policy. Check these at least once a year, and when you submit any claims documentation. We can often resolve queries with a quick phone call, so being able to contact you is critical.

Top tips for gathering documents quickly
Getting claim documents together can be time consuming, but there are a few ways to speed up the process. As a beneficiary or principal member claiming on a life or funeral policy you should:

  • Work with the undertaker and ask if you can assist in getting the death notice and certificate of death
  • Make a note of the name and contact details of any doctors or physicians who attended the deceased so they can be contacted quickly if we ask for further medical reports
  • If the death is unnatural, find out the case number and reporting or investigating officer’s details and let them know 1Life will need a report for insurance purposes

There can be challenges getting documents required from government departments quickly. For example, there was a backlog in issuing death notices and certificates at the beginning of 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you experience these kinds of problems with official documents, let us know. When we are aware of these problems, we can work with other stakeholders such as undertakers, other insurers and government departments to try and resolve them, so you don’t have to wait for the claim to be processed.

A quicker, easier claim
We are working towards making claims as fast as possible with the minimum documentation. Our experienced claims consultants are available to answer any questions and help make the claims process as smooth as possible, so that you receive your pay-out as fast as possible and without any unnecessary delays.

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