5 Ways to Claim Life Insurance After a Death

A life insurance policy is paid off by an insurer to the beneficiaries after the sudden death of a policyholder. The insurer can pay the proceeds from the policy in lump sums or installments. The benefits are paid off after the verification of the documents presented. The insurer reviews the policy and authenticates the beneficiaries’ documents and proof of death availed before any payout is made. There are many ways to claim payments for a life insurance policy. You can use any of the options listed below to make a claim and receive benefits:

1)    Through An Insurance Lawyer

Beneficiaries can approach a lawyer to claim a life insurance policy on their behalf. A life insurance lawyer will help in analyzing and interpreting the policy for better understanding. He or she will also help predict an outcome on the claim.

The lawyers may also help investigate a claim to remove any doubt and clear allegations made by the insurer. Once an insurer delays payment for a claim or cancels, the lawyer can pursue the claim too. In case of an unclear claim, a lawyer can negotiate the payout terms for you to ensure that you get to benefit from the policy.

2)    Direct Claim

Knowledgeable dependents can make the policy claim directly to the company. This process is shorter and easier too. The dependents have to provide proof of death by presenting a certificate and the original policy document. They should also provide documents proving that they are entitled to make a claim legally. Once the insurer verifies the information provided, they release the claim money.

3)    Through An Agent

Once a policyholder passes on, an assignee or a nominee can approach an agent to make a claim. The agent can be the one who insured the policy or one appointed to handle life insurance claims by an insurer. The agent helps the beneficiaries in the application and verification process. Since agents make direct contacts, it can be easier to verify a claim and offer assistance if need be. An agent also makes a follow up on the claim easing the burden for beneficiaries.

4)    Through An Assignee

Children who are below the legal age can have their guardians make claims on their behalf. The guardian can do this only with approval from the court. They can also present the custody documents as proof too before making any claim. To protect the interest of the children, payouts made are closely watched by administrators and court-appointed representatives to ensure it benefits them.

5)    Policy Finders

There are times when the deceased persons fail to share insurance policy information with their loved ones. These policies remain unclaimed for years if no beneficiary gets to learn about their existence. Once a loved one dies, you can search for the policies they had acquired through policy finders or in state insurance departments. In instances where it can be proven that the deceased had a policy, you can proceed and claim the policy. However, you would be required to provide legal documents proving you are the legal beneficiary and a death certificate. This process can be tedious and long but once done in the right manner it can bear the necessary results.

How to Save Money on Your Insurance With Pass Plus

Pass Plus is a six-hour practical driving training course, designed to increase the confidence and safety of newly qualified drivers. It was developed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in conjunction with the insurance industry to incentivise new drivers to beef up their motoring skills, learning skills such as motorway and nighttime driving not covered by standard driving test.

The lessons are available through Pass Plus registered approved driving instructors (ADIs). The course costs around £180, although this can vary based on the instructor you choose and area you live in. Some councils offer discounts for local residents.

Some auto insurers will trim premiums for drivers who have passed the course, providing a valuable discount for young and newly qualified motorists who may otherwise face very high insurance costs.

However, this discount varies between insurers and may only be available to drivers who have passed their driving test within the last year. If you’re looking only for a discount, you may want to compare car insurance quotes before signing up for a Pass Plus course. But Pass Plus has other benefits and even if it doesn’t lead to lower insurance premiums, it can be an investment in your safety and lifelong driving skills.

Skills Covered by Pass Plus

Pass Plus covers crucial driving skills that likely won’t have been covered—or fully covered—in the driving lessons you took in preparation for your driving test. The exact skills taught vary between driving schools and instructors but the modules remain the same:

  1. Town driving: Pupils are taught to navigate complex junctions and traffic systems; to share the road with others users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and buses; to park in city centres and to understand the need for space around their vehicle.
  2. All-weather driving: Drivers are taught how various weather conditions, from rain to snow to fog, effect how a car performs and behaves on the road. Drivers are taught how reduced visibility and increased stopping distances mean you should drive more slowly and leave greater distance between cars during adverse weather conditions. Drivers are also taught how to avoid skidding and how to recover from a skid.
  3. Out-of-town and rural roads: Drivers are taught how to deal with the unique features of rural roads, including blind curves, difficult overtaking, and slow moving animals and farm equipment.
  4. Night driving: Freshly qualified motorists are taught to confidently manoeuvre and judge distance in the dark, drive with headlights, and cope with nighttime glare.
  5. Dual carriageway driving: Students will learn how to maintain sufficient following distances, use the correct lane, and use slip roads.
  6. Motorway driving: As of June 2018 learner drivers are allowed on UK motorways with an instructor in the passenger seat but Pass Plus will give you more experience, particularly with merging, overtaking, and using the correct lane. You’ll also learn what to do in the event of a breakdown.


The Pass Plus scheme was developed by the government in the hopes that insurers would offer successful students insurance discounts of up to 35%.

However, the adoption of Pass Plus discounts hasn’t been widespread. Insurance companies base their premiums on complex assessments of risk, backed up by years of accident and claims statistics, and unfortunately, it hasn’t been proven that Pass Plus curbs the high rates of collisions among newly qualified drivers.

While some insurers do offer a discount, it’s often nowhere near 35%. And it’s often reserved only for drivers who have passed their tests within the last year. However, reportedly Co-operative Insurance offers up to 40% off premiums with the presentation of a Pass Plus certificate. Aviva, Churchill, Direct Line, and Young Marmalade also offer discounts, generally around 5% off premiums.

However, discounts don’t always mean cheaper premiums and you should always compare car insurance quotes, preferably using a comparison site, before committing to a policy, even one advertised with savings.

Should You Do Pass Plus?

Pass Plus can earn you discounts on your car insurance premiums—but it might not. If you can afford the course, however, there are worse ways to spend six hours than boning up on your driving skills. One in five drivers will be involved in an accident within a year of passing their driving test, a statistic that concerns insurers but will also concern novice drivers and their families. If you’re not feeling confident driving on motorways or after dark following your test, sign up for a Pass Plus course. Even if you earn a discount on your insurance, you’ll learn skills that will keep you safe, and maybe, when recorded by a black box with a telematics policy, can cut your insurance premiums that way.

5 Tips to Protecting Your Assets Against Fire

Protecting your assets, property, employees, or residents is the top priority for any business owner. That’s because fire can have a devastating effect on any enterprise in many different ways. Apart from causing damage to property, a fire can lead to injury or even death. It can also cause an extended downtime for your business, leading to loss of revenue.

Chances of this happening to you may be slim, but it always pays to be ready for anything. That’s why it’s vital that you take all the necessary steps to protect your assets against fire. A good starting point would be to bring in fire safety professionals to implement fire prevention measures that are suitable for your business. Apart from that, here are 5 other tips that can help you protect your assets from fire damage:

  1. Focus on Fire Prevention

The best way to reduce the risk of fire in your business is to be proactive about preventing fires from breaking out in the first place. To do this, start by encouraging your employees to clean up the office space and reduce any clutter. Doing this will remove any extra material that could provide fuel for a fire.

Another great way to prevent a fire is by prohibiting the use of candles or space heaters in the space. This is important because the top cause of many office fires are space heaters that have been left on overnight.

You should also work with expert safety vendors like Parr Fire Protection Services to ensure that all your assets are safe and protected. These certified professionals will be able to perform a fire hazard analysis, showing you any fire risks that you may be vulnerable to. They can also suggest viable solutions and help you implement them.

  1. Install a Fire Alarm

In case a fire does happen, it’s important to have a properly installed and operational fire alarm system at your business. This will ensure that your employees and the proper authorities are notified at the right time. After all, prompt notification can greatly reduce property damage and injuries in any fire.

You should also ensure that all employees are properly trained on how the fire alarm system works. Everyone in the office should know how to activate the fire alarm manually when necessary, and how to exit the premises to reduce the risk of injury.

  1. Get the Right Equipment

It is vital that any business invests in the proper fire safety equipment. This includes things such as fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and fire suppressants. All of these should be properly installed and monitored to ensure that they are always in good working condition. As long as they work correctly, such systems can help save lives and minimize damage in case of a fire.

Since this is so important, it’s essential that you hire experienced professionals to ensure that the job is done right. Apart from installing these systems, the pros will also ensure that all equipment is in proper operating condition and compliant with all the relevant fire codes in your area.

  1. Routine Inspections

While having the right equipment is essential, it’s also vital that they are inspected and monitored regularly. This will ensure that, should a fire break out, all of your fire-fighting tools will work as required.

  1. Formulate an Emergency Plan

Whether or not a fire emergency strikes, ensure that your company has a detailed emergency plan in place. Furthermore, ensure that all of your employees know how to execute the plan effectively. You could implement regular fire drills to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

How Losing Obamacare Will Affect Your Insurance

Obamacare is big news right now as President Donald Trump has tried and has, so far, failed to repeal the landmark policy of the previous administration. But despite numerous setbacks and consistent splits in the Republican ranks, the fight for Obamacare is not yet over.

It’s always best to prepare for the worst, so how will your insurance be affected if Obamacare is repealed?

Almost 30 Million Will Lose Insurance Entirely

To put it simply, a lot of people will be unable to afford insurance. And this won’t just be a disaster for anyone suffering from a serious illness. It will be a huge problem for anyone who relies on things like Obamacare for things like senior dental insurance.

Both medical insurance and dental insurance has a high chance of taking a big hit if Obamacare is repealed. You may find that your dental care is no longer covered and that many of your prescriptions have to be paid out-of-pocket.

Low-income Americans are especially vulnerable to these changes, and they may have no choice but to stop paying their insurers.

Pre-Existing Conditions Will Come Under Attack

If you have any form of a preexisting condition, which may even include pregnancy, your premiums are set to rise. Under Obamacare, insurers were unable to discriminate against people who had pre-existing conditions. This protection would be lifted without Obamacare and that would allow insurers to discriminate all over again.

Medicare Users Would Lose Care

Americans over 65 have relied on Medicare to help them receive care. A full repeal of Obamacare would mean higher payments for medical services covered by the Medicare Advantage portion of Medicare. It would not necessarily mean no care at all, but it would mean higher premiums for seniors signed up to this scheme.

No Coverage for Preventative Care

Another big risk to the Medicare program is that seniors would no longer be able to access preventative care for free. It would mean that many seniors would have to pay out-of-pocket for preventative procedures.

In practice this would mean that many seniors wouldn’t be able to afford preventative measures, thus leading to more major procedures and more expensive care further down the line.

More Out-of-Pocket Costs

Current studies reveal that $4,700 will be the average amount Americans will have to pay in out-of-pocket costs if Obamacare is revealed. In short, you will see less effective insurance that increases the amount you have to pay.

This happens in a variety of ways. The main two are for procedures that are no longer covered under your insurance scheme and the higher deductibles insurers are likely to impose in the event of a successful policy repeal.

Last Word – Why Obamacare Repeal is a Disaster

Obamacare repeal would mean, for the majority of Americans, less protection and bigger premiums. There are also more out-of-pocket costs for Americans everywhere.

This could mean terrible things for your insurance and your protection. What do you think is the biggest risk of the current administration taking away the protections put in place by Obamacare?


Top Tips for Buying Car Insurance

Are you shopping for insurance for your vehicle? Here are some things that you need to know:

How Insurance Rate is Determined

Two factors determine how much you will pay for car insurance: rating and underwriting. Insurance companies usually underwrite to evaluate the risk associated with applicants then group them with other similar risks to determine if they will accept their applications.

Based on underwriting results, the company assigns a price based on what it believes it will cost to assume financial responsibility for your potential claim. Every insurance company has a different rating system, which is usually affected by claim frequency.

Specific Factors that Affect Your Rating

Your driving record – if you have previous accidents or violations, you are considered high risk.

Prior insurance coverage – have your previous insurance policies been cancelled because of failing to pay premiums? This is also taken into account.

Your geographic location – urban locations have more claims than rural ones

Your age and gender – male drivers have more accidents and some ages have more claims

Vehicle use – higher mileage means more risk

Your marital status – married people usually have fewer claims

Vehicle make and model – sports and luxury cars have a higher number of claims

Ask Your Agent about Discounts

If the insurer sees you as a better risk, you might be given a discount. You should look out for a number of discounts, including anti-theft devices, good student, good driver, and driver education courses. However, you should know that not all states offer discounts.

Check Optional Coverage

The most commonly recognized coverages, aside from the basic liability coverage, include comprehensive and collision coverage. The latter pays for physical car damage when your car collides with an object such as another car or a tree. Although this coverage is reasonably priced, it is also optional.

Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, pays for car damage caused by all other factors, including fire, floods, vandalism, and theft. It is less expensive than collision coverage and optional.

No Fault vs. Tort System

Each state should implement a no-fault or tort system, which determines the type of insurance that will be available to car owners. The tort system has three basic coverages, which include uninsured motorist coverage, property damage liability, and bodily injury liability insurance. If your state has the no-fault system, the insurer will pay you directly for losses resulting from accident injuries regardless of who is at fault.

Shop Around Before You Buy Insurance

When buying car insurance, premium quotations are helpful for comparing products from different companies. Therefore, when asking for quotations, you need to give the same information to all companies. An agent usually asks for the following information: the coverage limit you want, your driver’s license number, and the description of your car.

Where to Shop

When looking for cheap car insurance online, you should visit several websites and do a comparison. Moreover, you can check the yellow pages for agents and companies in your area of residence. When talking to neighbors and friends, you should ask for the specific claim service they got from the companies that they recommend.

For Your Protection

Once you pick the insurance coverage and company that you need, you can take several steps to ensure that you get your money’s worth. Before you sign any insurance coverage application, you should verify that your prospective insurer is licensed to operate in your state by calling your state insurance department. It is illegal for unlicensed companies to sell insurance; this means that if you buy from them, you have no way of knowing whether the coverage will be honored.


Do you need life insurance?

canstockphoto17959883There are all sorts of reasons to think about getting life insurance. Whether you have a partner, children or other relatives who you wish to support after you have died, or you are simply looking to avoid having your family deal with the expense of your funeral, many people can benefit from this form of insurance. But is it really something that you need? Let’s take a closer look at life insurance and who should have it.

How do life insurance policies work?

Life insurance policies either pay out a lump sum or make regular payments to dependants on your death. They are generally put in place to ensure that your family is financially secure after you have passed away.

What is your marital status?

It is arguable that for single people, life insurance is a relatively unnecessary expense. You need to remember that life insurance is generally taken out to cover costs that you would cover if you were still alive. If you are single and live in a property, clearly you will no longer have a need for that property if you have passed on.

However, if you are the only earner in a family, your partner and children may rely upon the money that you provide. In this case, your death will present hardship for them and life insurance will effectively prevent them from suffering financially from your death.

Who is depending on you?

For the majority of people who take out life insurance, it’s done to ensure that a partner or children are not placed in a difficult financial situation if they die. Even if both partners in a relationship work and pay towards the household, the burden of your death might make it impossible for your partner to stay in the same property and support the family without you.

Alternatively, if you have already paid off your mortgage and you perhaps have grown-up children who no longer live with you, life insurance is probably unnecessary. While your death would clearly cause emotional distress to your loved ones, it would not place them in financial trouble.

You could cut your inheritance tax bill

One interesting reason that some people consider life insurance is to cut their tax bill. This is especially true if you are concerned about inheritance tax. This is because when you die you will be charged inheritance tax at 40 per cent of your assets over £325,000 – and remember that your family home is included as an asset.

That means that, for example, if your house is worth £1m when you die, your family will be charged a bill of 40 per cent of the £675,000 (the total over the £325,000 threshold). This means that simply to continue living in the home, your family would need to pay an inheritance tax bill of £270,000.

For many people this is simply unrealistic and unaffordable. However, if you had taken out life insurance, the policy would pay a lump sum on your death which can either pay off or contribute to the inheritance tax bill.

What affects the premiums?

As with all forms of insurance – the greater the risk to your insurance company, the more you will have to pay. With life insurance that means that you insurance premiums are affected by your age and your health, as well as aspects of your lifestyle. If you smoke heavily or drink regularly, this will mean that you need to pay more to take out the policy.

Do you already have it?

It may be the case that you already have life insurance in place. If you work for a business that offers employees death-in-service benefits, they may continue to pay your salary to your family in the event of your death. Given that this is likely to be your major source of income it means that you probably won’t need to take out an additional policy. Check through the terms of your employment to find out if you are already covered.

Would another type of insurance be preferable?

It might be the case that life insurance isn’t actually the ideal option for you. There is a range of different types of insurance that may be better in your situation. For example, income protection insurance pays regular payments to you and your family if you cannot work because you have become injured or seriously unwell.

Talk to a reputable insurance broker and they will be able to give you excellent advice on which kind of insurance policy could be right for you.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the financial sector. For the information in this post, Kent-based independent health insurance broker Flexible Health were consulted.


Lying on Your Life Insurance Application: What is a Lie?

canstockphoto8654543Unfortunately, in some cases, those who are looking into making a life insurance purchase are doing so with a bit of reluctance. They understand its necessity and benefits, but the idea of factoring it into their budget brings on migraines; especially, if they have any kind of significant medical history, or ongoing medical struggles.  You can click here to visit Suncorp directly.

This is where scribbling a few little white lies down on their life insurance application becomes a temptation—after all, when one little lie can possibly save you a few hundred bucks a month, what’s the harm?

What most don’t understand is that there is a lot of harm that can be caused from committing insurance fraud. I know what you might be thinking… “I mean, that’s an exaggeration, right? It’s not really insurance fraud, right? …. RIGHT?!”

It is! Sure, it will save you money while you’re alive and well, but what happens when you pass away and the very purpose of your life insurance policy comes to fruition; who pays the price? Your loved ones. That is, if you don’t get caught right from the get-go.

Before you hyperventilate, it’s important to understand what is and what isn’t a lie. In some cases, there is such a thing as just having bad luck and poor timing.


This is any item on your application that can be filled in with full guarantee from the applicant that it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. With these items, there’s no wiggle room—if it’s determined to be a lie, there’s going to be almost nothing you can say to get out of it.

This kind of lie would be to note on your application that you’ve never had any kind of previous heart condition, when you in fact had open heart surgery a month before your application.

Typically, you won’t succeed in getting away with a lie on one of these items, either. They are extensively investigated by the insurance company when you apply and if you’re caught, you will not only have your application rejected, but a record of this offense will be filed with the Medical Insurance Bureau (MIB: mibgroup.com), which will alert any other insurer that you might apply with.

If you do make it past the application phase with the lie and it’s discovered later, your contract will be voided and your premiums refunded.


This is any item on your application that is filled in only with the applicant’s fully educated belief to be true. To the best of your ability, you know this to be true, but there is the possibility for human error, or discovery that it could be false.

Using the same example as before, this type of lie would occur if you noted on your application that you’ve never had any kind of previous heart condition, and then a week later it is discovered that you did all along (a first diagnosis).

When this kind of lie occurs, with no deliberate intent to fool the insurance company, there typically won’t be repercussions, only adjustments. From insurer to insurer, it will be different; some policies come with a contestation period attached and they will alter your policy and premiums according to what your new condition is. Others, will only look at your health at the time of the application and as soon as it’s accepted, you’re free and clear.

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