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Death Claim: Is it possible to claim from more than one Life Insurance policy?

12 January 2017
It is perfectly legal to buy and hold more than one life insurance policy. Your beneficiary can rightfully claim from all the life insurance policies you hold in the unfortunate event of your death. Multiple policies offer an extra level of protection that a single plan might not necessarily provide you.
 
 

Are you hesitant to invest in a number of covers because you feel you are not equipped to handle multiple policies? Here we take a look at how, if and when you can avail a death benefit from more than one policy. 

What is a Death Claim?                                                     

In the case of Life Insurance, in the event of the insured person’s death before the end of the policy term, his or her beneficiary will receive a pay-out known as the Death Benefit.

This request for payment of the amount due in accordance with the terms and conditions of the policy by the beneficiary is known as Death Claim.

Related: What to do after the death of your next of kin (Part 1)

  • Is it legal to acquire more than one life insurance policy and claim from all of them?

It is perfectly legal to buy and hold more than one life insurance policy under the following two circumstances:

  1. You have disclosed all material facts

While applying for a new policy you must disclose the previously bought policies to the insurer so that they are cognizant of your existing coverage and can help you pick out the right policy that extends your coverage in line with your personal goals. Not doing so can result in misrepresentation which can be a ground for rejection of death claim.

  1. The combined sum assured of all policies does not exceed your Human Life Value

When a life insurance company receives an application for a policy, a process of risk assessment, called ‘underwriting’ begins. In medical underwriting, health related risks are assessed. In financial underwriting, insurability is assessed by reviewing the applicant’s income and existing life cover. Based on these details, which you are asked to submit when you apply, your insurers calculate your Human Life Value. The combined death benefit of multiple policies cannot exceed this amount.

Related: What to do after the death of your next of kin (Part 2)

  • What are the benefits of holding multiple insurance policies?

Firstly, it is a hedge against claim rejection. While full disclosure is usually all that’s needed to ensure your claim is accepted, things can go awry. The last thing you would want is your family not receiving financial support in your absence. You can spread your risk by taking more than one policy from different insurers with different claim settlement ratios.

Secondly, it will help you with milestone based protection planning. You take life insurance based on your dependents. For important life events like marriage, birth of your children, their education, or the purchase of a house, you may want your policies to be reviewed and/or restructured.  So let’s say you have to replay a 30 lakh loan in 20 years. Rather than taking a 1 crore policy for 30 years, why not take a 30 lakh policy for 20 years and a 70 lakh policy for 20 years?

Word of advice

It goes without saying that taking more than one policy also means you’ll be paying additional premium. Thus, this decision has to be planned for properly.

Secondly, it may be cumbersome to have to keep track of multiple policies, but this is not a process you can afford to do away with.

Related: How to make a claim settlement on multiple health policies

You can purchase as many insurance policies as you want depending upon your financial needs and life situation. All you need to keep in mind is that the policies you hold contribute significantly towards your personal goals.

 

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