• Michael Christensen

A Life Insurance Checklist for Tragic Times

The fact that death is inevitable necessitates the need for all to take a pragmatic approach and plan for our family's future. Dependents should be financially secure in case the breadwinner of the family expires. The right course of action to ensure this is through life insurance.

The Sept.11th 2001 attacks that resulted in large-scale deaths, injury, damage to property and autos and lost business made it difficult for many life insurers to pay death claims. Although Insurance companies honored almost all claims adding up to nearly $3 billion payouts in the first year after the attacks.

A checklist you will need when you claim life insurance:

The Crucial Need

A death certificate signed by a coroner or funeral home director supports proof of death. In the case of the September 11th attack most victims' remains have not been found. Many state departments of insurance may allow insurance companies to accept affidavits as actual death certificates. The big question is whether terrorist acts are an "act of war" and therefore excluded from the terms of life insurance policies?

Issues for everyone…

It might seem cruel to make a life insurance claim when a dear one dies, but it is important to learn how to make claims on life insurance and other policies.

Some key questions to ask:

Did the deceased have life insurance? If he or she had then , were you or any one else given the records of type of insurance taken? Usually it is not easy to locate. Your estate attorney can contact probable life insurance carriers and ask for evidence of coverage. You could even hire an investigator to uncover policies that probably exist. The kinds of life insurance to look for:

Check your safety-deposit box, if not already sealed, depending on which law abides in your state Contact your life insurance agent, your lawyer, and your homeowner's or auto insurance agent. They could have sold the deceased, life insurance or it could be listed under an umbrella liability application such as the deceased's parents

Go through the records.

Financial records, old divorce, business and other legal agreements mostly necessitate carrying insurance. The deceased's employer too could tell you whether he had group life, accidental death, and other insurance coverage such as a deferred compensation or other executive benefit plan funded with insurance policies that several executives participated in. (Non profits and government agencies have these too.)

Ask the departure airport whether the deceased died in a plane crash, and contact any insurance companies with on the spot purchase kiosks. Contact the deceased's credit card company if the ticket he had purchased on his card had automatic travel life insurance or automatic accidental death benefits. U.S. veterans, members of unions, professional or fraternal organizations, also get automatic death benefits.


Heed our advice to buy life insurance and protect your family, keep it in force, get your estate in order and informed someone about it. Why let your loved ones face additional trauma by leaving them in want of financial security

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The above data is for informational purposes only and is not binding legally. The information is updated on a regular basis, but some facts such as ratings may have changed since this page was posted. Consult an 1Adv Term Life Insurance representative to verify information.

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