Common Questions About Life Insurance Claims
How do I file a life insurance claim?
Complete a claim form and mail it, along with a death certificate, to New York Life. Follow the instructions on How to Report a Claim.
Or, call the New York Life toll free claims number 1-800-695-5165 to report the death. Our business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday. A representative will help you complete your claim.Back to Top »
- How long will it take before I receive a check?
What documentation will I need to submit?
The beneficiary should provide a fully completed claim form and certified death certificate. If the death is due to an accident or homicide, the beneficiary should also provide a copy of the final police report and/or the coroner’s report and copies of any news articles.Back to Top »
What do I do if the insured died in a foreign country?
In addition to provide a certified death certificate and completed claim form, also complete the Foreign Death Questionnaire and provide a Report of Death of a US Citizen Abroad form, which may be obtained from the US Embassy. You may also call the New York Life toll-free claims number, 1-800-695-5165, to understand the requirements for settling a claim when the insured’s death is in a foreign country.Back to Top »
How do I obtain a certified death certificate?
Most funeral homes will provide the family of the deceased with several certified death certificates. You can also contact the Vital Records Division in the state of the deceased for this document.Back to Top »
What do I do if the beneficiary is an estate?
The court appointed executor/personal representative should submit the fully completed claim form, certified death certificate and copy of the court papers appointing the individual as the executor or personal representative of the estate.Back to Top »
- What do I do if the beneficiary is an estate, and there is no estate?
- What do I do if the beneficiary is deceased, and there is no estate?
What is required if the beneficiary is a trust?
The trustee should submit the fully completed claim form and a certified death certificate. A copy of the trust may also be requested.Back to Top »
What do I need if the beneficiary is a minor child?
The benefit can be paid into an interest-bearing settlement account on behalf of the minor beneficiary. The minor's social security number and date of birth must be pr ovided on the claim form. The funds will be available to the minor when they reach age of majority.
If the benefit amount is under the state UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minor's Act) limit, the funds may be disbursed to the minor child. There are certain guidelines and limitations determined by each state regarding disbursement of funds to a minor under this act. Contact New York Life for specific information.Back to Top »
What is an incontestable claim?
A claim is considered incontestable when the insured's death occurs two years or more after the insurance date or reinstatement date.Back to Top »
- What is a contestable claim?
How will the claim be paid?
New York Life will issue a check to the beneficiary's address provided on the claim form.Back to Top »
Can payment be made to a funeral home?
Yes, if the claim is incontestable, and the beneficiary signs an assignment form (provided by the funeral home) authorizing us to direct payment of all or a portion of the proceeds to a funeral home, and that assignment is received prior to the claim being settled.
Here's some helpful consumer protection information regarding funeral homes that you might find helpful:
Federal Trade Commission - Planning a funeral? Know your rightsBack to Top »
Why does a beneficiary, estate or trust need to provide their Social
Security Number or Federal Tax Identification Number?
New York Life cannot process the claim without this information. Interest is paid on most claims from the date of death until the claim is paid. The Social Security Number or Federal Tax Identification Number is required to report interest payments to hte Internal Revenue Service.Back to Top »
When is a Federal Tax Identification Number utilized?
A Federal Tax Identification Number will be issued to an estate of a deceased or to a trust. The Federal Tax Identification Number is used to report the interest paid to an estate or a trust.Back to Top »
What is a primary beneficiary?
The person(s) or entity designated by the insured to receive the death benefit.Back to Top »
What is a secondary/contingent beneficiary?
The person(s) or entity designated by the insured to receive the death benefit in the event the primary beneficiary dies before the insured, disclaims the death benefit or is disqualified under law.Back to Top »
Where do I find tax forms?
The following tax forms are available from the IRS:
What is a Form 1099-INT?
Forms 1099-INT are used to report interest payments made to an individual or entity (such as a trust or estate) during any calendar year to the Internal Revenue Services. Forms 1099-INT are mailed to an individual or entity in January of the year following the interest payment. Form 1099-INT informs the individual or entity of the interest amount paid to be reported on their tax return.Back to Top »
My policy has an Accelerated Benefit rider, how do I know if I qualify for this
You may call our toll free number, 1-800-695-5165, for assistance. Our business hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Or, you may complete a Living Benefit Rider claim form and mail the form as indicated in the instructions on the form.Back to Top »
My policy has a waiver of premium benefit (for Nursing Home Confinement). How do I know if I qualify for
Waiver of premium is a benefit that relieves the insured of their obligation to pay future premiums once they have been confined to a qualified nursing home for 180 consecutive days.
Do I need to continue paying my premiums?
Yes, the Contract states premiums must continue until the claim is approved.
How do I know if the facility is approved?
The facility must be licensed as a skilled nursing facility. Assisted Living and Personal Care Homes are not eligible.
Can I apply if my policy is lapsed?
Yes, and we will determine eligibility based on the confinement dates and when the coverage lapsed. Please note we will not approve this benefit if the policy lapsed prior to the admission date or during the 180 day waiting period.
Does the nursing home doctor have to complete section 2?
Section 2 must be completed by a treating physician.
Who receives the refund?
The refund is issued to the owner of the policy.
How do I apply for my Waiver of Premium Benefit?
Nursing Home Premium Waiver