In times of grief, when you are suffering emotionally and physically, you shouldn’t be dealing with the disappointment of an insurer rejecting or delaying to payout your claim.
Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life, says during this time, beneficiaries need access to cash within 24 hours from the time of death to make the necessary arrangements to give their loved ones a dignified funeral. A quick payout from your insurer is, therefore, an absolute necessity.
Instead of being caught off guard when tragedy strikes, Bromfield advises consumers to familiarise themselves with the claims process, policy documents and their rights:
1. Submitting the correct documentation on time – the common reason why many claims get delayed is because consumers often fail to submit the certified claim form, notice of death form, death certificate and a copy of the deceased’s ID document on time.
“Because we are able to obtain a verified death certificate through the National Population Register from the Department of Home Affairs, following the submission of a notice of death form from customers, we currently pay out 80% of claims within a day of receiving all documents,” says Bromfield.
“The sooner your insurer gets all the relevant documents, the quicker the payout time.”
2. Correct beneficiary details – this is equally important as submitting the right documents.
Without the correct beneficiary details, claims cannot be paid out to your loved ones in the event that they were not aware of the policy.
“Through the National Populations Registry, FNB Life continuously identifies claims that haven’t been submitted, and we are able to contact the beneficiaries and payout, if we have the correct contact details, says Bromfield.
3. Beware of unscrupulous insurers – always do your background check before taking up an insurance policy to ensure that the company is legitimate, and is underwritten by a registered long term insurance company.
This will help you avoid any surprises when you or your loved ones claim.
4. Know your rights – when an insurer rejects your claim, you have the right to object in writing. If the complaint is still unresolved and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can approach the Long-term Insurance Ombudsman for assistance.
Make it a priority to read and understand the terms and conditions of your policy and establish if there are any violations and exclusions that may prevent your claims from being paid out.
“In general, funeral policies shouldn’t have many restrictions, apart from standard waiting periods and prohibition against illegal activities,” concludes Bromfield.