If someone with a life insurance policy dies

If someone with a life insurance policy has died, then it’s really important that you let us know quickly, so that we can start to process the claim.

Benefit payable

There is usually a lump sum death benefit payable from most life insurance policies. We’ve covered the most common types in the sections below.

However, there are some circumstances where no benefit is payable when someone has died:

  • Some insurance policies, pay on sickness rather than on death.
  • If the policyholder has died, and the life assured is still living, then the policy can continue, normally either the owner will change to the life assured, or if the policy has a cash in value, then this can be paid and the policy will end.
  • For some policies, known as second death policies, the death benefit is only payable once when both the lives assured have died.

Below are the most common types of beneficiary death claim for a life insurance policy.

Death claim payable to the estate of the deceased

The benefit amount forms part of the assets of the estate of the deceased and must be distributed in accordance with the will. If there is no will, then we may be able to pay the next of kin.

We’ll ask you to complete our Life Policy Information Form – don’t worry when we send you this we’ll make it clear to you which sections we’ll need you to complete.

Here’s the full form for information – you can print this form and return it to us.

Download and print Life policy information form

Contact us to tell us someone has died

Benefit on death is payable to an assignee, who is legally entitled to the claim value because the policy is assigned to them, usually connected to a loan or mortgage

We will forward a claim form to the assignee to complete and return to us so that we can pay the claim to them. If the assignee does not require the claim amount to be paid to them, usually because the loan or mortgage has been repaid, then they will let us know so that we can contact you.

Sometimes an assignment remains in place long after a loan or mortgage originally with the assignee has been repaid. If you believe that this is the case with this policy, then you should obtain confirmation from the assignee of this. You may already have a letter from the assignee to confirm this or alternatively you’ll need to contact them and request a letter from them which is known as a “no further interest” or “re-assignment” letter.

If you have a "no further interest" or "reassignment" letter, this will mean that we can send you the paperwork for this claim.

Contact us to tell us someone has died

Absolute or flexible trust set up on the policy

The deceased may have set up an absolute or flexible trust on this policy. This trust deed tells us what must happen on death and means that the benefit passes directly onto the beneficiaries named in the trust deed, usually avoiding inheritance tax.

There are trustees named in the trust deed and it is they who are responsible for paying the benefits from the policy to the beneficiaries of the trust.

The deceased would have named him or herself as trustee and would have appointed one or more additional trustees. The additional trustee(s) must ensure that the benefits are paid to the beneficiary. Utmost Life and Pensions will pay the benefit to the trustee(s).

Contact us to tell us someone has died

Claim is payable to the policyholder, following the death of the life assured

The benefit amount is payable to the policyholder (sometimes also known as the assured or applicant or policy owner).

Utmost Life and Pensions will pay the benefit directly to the policyholder.

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Claim is payable to the nominated beneficiary

For some types of life insurance policy, there’s a nominated beneficiary who will receive the death benefit.

Utmost Life and Pensions will pay the benefit directly to the beneficiary.

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Policy is written under MWPA (Married Women’s Property Act)

The policy was set up under the Married Women’s Property Act (MWPA).

This means that, when the life assured dies, the policy benefit passes directly to either their spouse, civil partner and/or children. Although the trust is named after the Married Women’s Property Act, you don’t have to be married or be a woman to set up the trust. The children can be biological children or adopted children.

The MWPA trust on the policy will state who the policy benefit passes to on death.

Utmost Life and Pensions will pay the benefit to the trustee(s).

The trustee(s) are responsible for ensuring that the policy benefit is paid to the beneficiary.

Contact us to tell us someone has died