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What Happens to Term Insurance with No Beneficiaries?

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  • 10th Mar 2021
  • 960
What Happens to Term Insurance with No Beneficiaries?

When a person buys a term insurance plan, the primary inheritor of the sum assured is generally their heir, such as a spouse or a child. This implies that in the unfortunate event of the policy holder’s death, it is the heir, also known as the beneficiary or the nominee, who is paid the death benefit. However, what happens to a policy if there is no term life insurance beneficiary? Let’s find out.

Situations under which there is no beneficiary in term insurance

Considering the fact that a term insurance plan is specifically bought with the intention of financially securing the future of an individual’s family members, it seems hard to think of a situation where there would be no beneficiary for a term policy. However, while a term insurance policy is bought to protect the family in the absence of the chief earning member, there could be a time where the beneficiary may meet an untimely demise before the insured. In such a case, there may be some confusion about who inherits the term insurance funds.

What happens if the beneficiary in term insurance passes away before the policy matures?

The sum assured is paid to the secondary beneficiary.

  • Generally, insurance companies ask for two names when buying a term insurance policy. One name is for the primary beneficiary, and the other is for the secondary beneficiary. This is specifically done for a situation involving the death or absence of the primary beneficiary. If the primary term life insurance beneficiary is no longer alive to claim the settlement, the sum assured is passed on to the secondary beneficiary. However, if both the beneficiaries are absent, then the following two courses of action are considered.
  • The sum assured is paid to the policyholder’s other legal heirs. If both the primary and secondary beneficiaries have passed away in an unfortunate incident, the policy money is passed on to the policyholder’s other legal heirs. This can be determined by going through the will of the policy owner.In case there have been no legal heirs mentioned in the will, the succession certificate holder will be considered an heir and the policy money will be passed on to the individual.
  • The sum assured is paid to the policyholder. If the original beneficiary is no more around to claim the settlement and there are no other legal heirs or nominees, the sum assured is paid to the policyholder if they survive the term. However, this can only be done if the policy offers survival benefits.

Stay protected with Kotak Term Plan

Kotak Term Plan offers a comprehensive term plan with many advantages. Here are some of its attractive features:

  • With Kotak, one can get a minimum or a maximum sum assured as per their needs.
  • Affordable annual premiums that can fit anybody’s budget.
  • The plan offers additional riders, such as the Kotak Permanent Disability Rider, Kotak Critical Illness Plus Rider, etc.

To sum it up

The purpose of buying a term life insurance policy is to secure the future of one’s family. However, it is essential to know what happens to insurance funds in case of any eventuality. It helps to nominate a secondary beneficiary in term insurance and have a will in place to avoid any confusion in the end. Unclear wills and the absence of a backup nominee can also lead to disagreements and family feuds amongst legal heirs. So, make sure to take care of these aspects well in advance.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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