How Long Does it Take to Receive a Death Benefit Check?


How long does it take the beneficiary to get the death benefit check?

It can vary; a death benefit checks come from the insurance company and is based on several factors. One factor is the insurance company needs to process the claim and information needs to be provided, like a death certificate for example. Sometimes it can be delayed because death certificates can be delayed. You are dealing with another party – the county or the state – to issue that death certificate, and they operate on a different schedule.

The insurance company looks at the death certificate and processes that death benefit, based on the policy itself. If the policy is within a two year period of time, the insurance company has the right to look at anything that has happened within the last two years. Let’s say I bought a life insurance policy a year and two months ago. Then, I passed away from an illness. Consequently, they can look to see why I died. If I passed away, they can check it all out. They can review doctor records and everything else to make sure I told the truth on the application. That’s a two year period of time – a two year look back – and insurance companies have that right.

Life Insurance Policy Challenges

So for some cases, it can take a little while to dig through everything. It’s called a challenge. Insurance companies may not really challenge the policy, but they will investigate. After the challenge period of time, which is two years, the death benefit is paid much more quickly. Insurance companies can’t go back and challenge anything at that point. Challenges have a two year time limit, and that’s the way it is with all policies. So the death benefit can come fairly quickly if everything lines up quickly. If the death certificate is received and there is not a challenge period, it can come pretty quick usually within a couple of weeks, or it could take longer

Beyond the challenge period, can a death benefit check ever be denied?

No, after two years, insurance companies have to pay that death benefit check. It is within that two year period of time, that if someone dies, they’re going to look and see why. For example, a personal friend of mine, who I wrote a life insurance policy on, fell into a lake, hit his head and that’s where he passed away. His insurance company went ahead and looked to see why he fell. In other words, they wanted to see if there was some health reason he did not divulge during the application process that they wanted to check out. They didn’t find anything, and therefore, the claim was paid as quickly as possible. But we were within that two year time period. So that type of situation can happen, but most of the time, it runs pretty smoothly.


Since insurance is oftentimes overwhelmingly confusing, we want to shed light on this industry by answering YOUR questions.  So if you have any questions or concerns, comment below and your question may be the topic of our next video!

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