You don’t want to think about what will happen if your spouse dies unexpectedly. While you cannot prepare for the emotional trauma, you are at least well prepared for the financial difficulties: you both have good jobs, a home, and a solid life insurance policy.
But what if the unthinkable happens… and you’re not as secure as you thought you were?
If your spouse has died at work, your life insurance should cover your benefits under the accidental death clause. Depending on the events surrounding the death, the employer may also be liable for additional compensation.
How much is my life insurance worth?
The biggest difference in the amount you will receive is whether you have a regular life insurance policy, or a term life insurance policy. Term life insurance policies are paid for a portion of time, rather than the policyholder’s entire life.
For instance, a parent who has regular life insurance may buy an additional term life policy that expires when his child turns 18. This way, if he the parent dies while the policy is valid, his term life will typically pay twice or three times the amount of his life insurance benefit. However, if the policy expires and he is still alive, the policy is void and is worth nothing.
While many regular life insurance policies will cover accidental death, a multiplier is often an optional benefit or “rider” on the policy. If your life insurance includes a clause paying double or triple in the case of accidental death, you will probably pay a higher premium.
What can I do?
The people you should call when your life insurance benefits do not arrive on time:
- The employer. Many employers will offer to file the life insurance claim for you if the death happened on their premises. After all, the employer will likely have to answer a few questions of their own. However, you must still be a part of the process: get names and phone numbers, making sure to follow up if benefits are late.
- The insurance company. If both you and the employer have filed all paperwork connected to the claim, the insurance company should send payment within a month. Insurance companies are notorious for delaying claims as long as they can get away with it, so be sure to stay in constant contact with them—preferably with the same person each time.
- An experienced attorney. Not only is the insurance company liable for death benefits if your spouse died on the job, but you may also have a right to pursue a wrongful death claim. If you believe the death was a result of workplace safety violations or illegal practices, you have a right to hire an attorney to investigate the premises.
If your life insurance company is delaying your benefits, the attorneys at Life Insurance Law can get you the money your family needs. Call us today for a consultation on your case.