What is a Beneficiary?

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Insurance purchase is a financial decision that has considerable influence on your family’s future. It is favourable to be aware of the workings of your policy to avoid any misunderstandings later. When you invest in an insurance product, understanding what is a beneficiary and their relevance is an integral part of the purchase process.

Beneficiary Definition

In life insurance, beneficiary is the person or entity entitled to receive the claim amount in the event of the insured’s demise. The policyholder selects the beneficiary at the time of purchasing the policy. The eligibility of the person to be considered as a beneficiary depends on the legal norms and specifications of the policy.

Furthermore, if the life insurance beneficiary is a minor at the time of commencement of the policy, there are different guidelines. The policyholder can appoint a contingent beneficiary in such a situation. If you are purchasing an insurance policy, it is in your best interest to know what is a beneficiary and their rights to make an informed choice.

Understanding Life Insurance Beneficiary

To understand what is beneficiary appropriately, you must know the scope of your insurance policy. In general, insurers accept a person or multiple persons to be selected as life insurance beneficiary. Additionally, you can also appoint a charity, your estate, or a trustee of a trust foundation set up by you to be the life insurance beneficiary.

If you select multiple people as the life policy beneficiary, you can assign the percentage of benefits payable to each of them. The purpose of choosing a life policy beneficiary is to ensure that you put your assets in the right hands in an unfortunate event. As the policyholder, you are entitled to decide who receives the death benefit from your insurance plan.

On the insurer’s part, they make sure that the listed life insurance beneficiary is in accordance with the guidelines. You must also provide accurate details of the life insurance beneficiary to ensure that the claim settlement process will be hassle-free.

It is also essential to review what is a beneficiary’s entitlements in your insurance policy regularly. 

How Does a Beneficiary Benefit from Life Insurance?

The main purpose of selecting a life insurance plan of your choice is to provide a death benefit to the life policy beneficiary. An individual’s spouse, children, or parents are chosen as the life insurance beneficiary in most cases. When you understand who and what is a beneficiary in your context, it helps calculate premium & the adequate amount of life cover you need.

Moreover, financial instruments that stay active for an extended period, such as life insurance, can be used for different purposes. For some people, life insurance also serve as tools of investment or saving. It implies that the accumulation of savings is for the life insurance beneficiary to use in whichever way he wants.

Hence, determining what is a beneficiary in your life insurance is a highly personal decision. It is based on your financial circumstances and the number of dependents. If your family relies on your income source, the life insurance benefit for them can make all the difference in your absence. 

Do You Need a Beneficiary While Buying Life Insurance?

You work hard to fulfil the financial responsibilities of your family members. An insurance plan assures you that your family will be secure under unforeseen circumstances. In the absence of a life policy beneficiary, some complications may arise that can be easily avoided.

If you are not familiar with an insurance policy’s workings, you may get confused about what is a beneficiary’s role. Simply put, a life insurance beneficiary is a crucial part of the policy.

Here are some of the reasons you need to know about beneficiary selection for your insurance policy. 

1. Clarity

When a loved one passes away, it is likely that emotions get the best of the loved ones. It can be tremendously difficult to deal with the loss. It is unpleasant to think that on top of that, they may have to face financial burdens. It is precisely what is a beneficiary’s importance in a life insurance policy. 

It gives your family members a stable support system when they need it the most. Unfortunately, you cannot predict what may go wrong when you are no longer with your loved ones. Selecting a life insurance beneficiary ensures no confusion, and the death benefit goes to the one you intended. 

2. Control

Life is full of uncertain times, and we never know what might happen in the next moment. But, you can take control of your financial decisions in the present by making a sound plan. The savings that you accumulate for a rainy day should be put to use efficiently.

When you name a life insurance beneficiary, you can control where your money goes in your absence. It also gives you a clear view of the bigger picture of life. It also helps comprehend the meaning of what is a beneficiary and their importance in your financial plan.

3. Swift Claim Process

One of the common complaints people raise is about the complications in the process of claim settlement. The point of purchasing life insurance is to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of during a financial emergency. However, in the absence of a life insurance beneficiary, the process may get considerably delayed.

To make things easier, the selected beneficiary can file a claim quickly in the event of the insured’s demise. As soon as death is documented, the settlement process can come into action. The IRDAI has specific guidelines[1] in place to ensure an uncomplicated claim settlement process.

How to Choose a Beneficiary?

By now, you may have a sound understanding of what is a life insurance beneficiary in life insurance. Hence, you also recognize the importance of selecting the right one while buying an insurance plan.

Let’s consider some of the key points to consider when choosing a life policy beneficiary.

1. Financial Dependents

A long-term investment such as life insurance requires the policyholder to be aware of their economic condition properly. It includes identifying the financial dependents in your life and projecting their future needs. Realizing the specific requirements of your financial dependents plays a major role in choosing a life insurance beneficiary.

2. Know Your Options

When selecting a life insurance beneficiary, it is essential to be aware of your options. Once you have determined a suitable life insurance policy, make sure you know what is a beneficiary in its context. If you know the options available to you, you can make an informed choice of a life insurance beneficiary. 

3. Review the Policy Terms

As the policyholder, it is crucial to check if your expectations are being met with the life insurance plan. After you have decided on the life insurance beneficiary, make sure that their rights and benefits are mentioned in the policy terms. Since there are different types of insurance policies available, it is favourable to go through your policy details carefully.

4. Provide Accurate Information

It is exceedingly important that you provide the required documents for your life insurance beneficiary. If you fail to do so, there is a high chance that the claim may get rejected in a time of need. It would help if you make sure that the details in the documents are up-to-date and accurate. 

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