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A reliable life insurance claims guide for your family

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

We know just how unpredictable life can be. That’s why you can rely on us to help you make sure that you’re prepared for any eventuality. Like ensuring that your family or policy beneficiaries know what to do should they be required to make a claim.

To date, there are billions of rands in unclaimed benefits and most of these are from life insurance policies. This is due to the fact that many beneficiaries are unaware that they can claim or don’t even know how to go about it. To avoid this ever happening to your family, it’s your responsibility to ensure that they know how to claim. Here is the vital information you need to share with them.

1. Make your family and beneficiaries aware of your policies and what they entail.

Instead of leaving your relatives and loved ones the job of sorting through your paperwork, make them aware of what policies you may have. These could include:

  1. Life cover
  2. Funeral insurance
  3. Disability insurance
  4. Dread disease cover
  5. Group benefits with employer
  6. Pension funds and retirement annuities
  7. Investments
  8. Medical cover

Once they know what type of policies you have, they will need to know the details of what each policy covers so they know when they can claim. This could be death, critical illness or even disability.

Should you pass away, your family will be able to claim on a life or funeral policy. If you should ever become critically ill or disabled to the point that you cannot claim yourself, your family will be able to claim from a disability or dread disease policy. That’s why it is so important that they have the correct information.

Important to note: Advise your family of any exclusions or waiting periods that you may have on your policy. These details can be found in your policy schedule.


2. Keep your policies in a safe place and let your family, beneficiaries, advisor or attorney know where they are.

If your policy is in a file in your desk or saved in the cloud, it is vital that your beneficiaries know where to find it. If you have printed out your policies, tell your family where they are. If you have digital copies, give someone access to the files in case you pass or become critically ill or disabled. Your policy documents are important as they detail what is covered, who the beneficiaries are and all the information on where and how to claim.

Important to note: Create a claims instruction sheet for every policy

This document should detail all the important information your beneficiaries will need such as the policy number, contact details for the Auto & General claims department and any other important policy details. This simple, yet effective one pager will assist your relatives with all the paperwork and is very useful, especially during a rather stressful time. 

3. Explain the claims process to your beneficiaries

One of the most vital aspects in claiming from a policy is ensuring that the right person claims. The following people should contact the claims department:

  1. Life policy: The listed beneficiaries in the policy
  2. Funeral policy: Should the principal member pass on, the listed beneficiary may claim. Should an additional member pass on, the principal member may claim.
  3. Disability and dread disease policies: The life assured, or a family member should the life assured be unable to.

Our team of claims experts are always on hand to assist your beneficiaries or family members with your claim. To help the process run smoothly, you can prepare some of the paperwork like your policy number and original or certified copies of the life assured’s ID. Should the claim be paid out to a beneficiary, we will require their bank account details and identification.

Some policies may require other documents such as doctors’ and specialists’ reports. This is very much dependent on each policy and we advise your family members to contact us first to find out what documents are needed.

4. Give your family information as to why you have the policy and how you would like the funds to be spent.

Each person’s reasons as to why they have taken out a particular policy will differ. Some may want their bond to be paid off. Others may want the money to be invested for an income or to pay for their children’s education. Whatever your wishes are, it is vital that you inform your family. Share it with them when you all get together or simply leave a list. You might also want to give more details about your funeral policy pay-out should you not want your family to overspend on your funeral.

5. If you make any changes to your policies, keep your family informed.

Whether you increase cover, add or remove a beneficiary or take out an extra benefit like disability, it is important to keep your family in the know. Not only does this clear up any questions, but it also ensures that they know who can claim.


With over three decades of experience, you can rely on us for excellent service. Ensure that your family can rely on you by giving them all the information they need should they ever need to claim. Update your beneficiaries and family annually and go through all the details. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but it’ll help them know what to do in a time that can be very turbulent.


Auto & General Insurance Company is an authorise non-life insurer and financial services provider. Long-term policies underwritten by 1Life Insurance Limited, an authorised insurer and financial services provider.

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