The first initial process in making a life insurance claim is contacting the insurance agent. As long as you are the beneficiary, the agent will be the direct bridge between you and collecting the money from the claim. If there are numerous insurance accounts, you will be conducting business with various insurance agents. The rules might differ slightly from company to company so never assume, but enquire when in doubt. One criteria that is present among all these life insurance companies is the presentation of an original version of the death certificate. If necessary, you will need to contact the Deaths and Birth Registrar to acquire more than one certified copy. In this case, you will be able to provide the insurance company with a copy and have one or two in your possession. As the beneficiary, the insurance company will require you to fill out a claim form stating all the particulars such as the time, place and cause of death etc. Usually, if all the information on the claim form can be verified and the policy is older than 2 years old, the company has no problem issuing the beneficiary a check in 2-3 days and no more than a week. In certain cases, the insurance company might take a little bit longer to pay over the cash. Firstly, they have to verify that the claimed beneficiary is indeed the correct one. They do not want to make a payout twice because they initially paid money out to the wrong person. Secondly, There are few occasions where the beneficiary is intentionally responsible for the death of the deceased. So, in other words, a policy was made by the beneficiary and now he or she is suspected of being directly or indirectly responsible for the death. Granted, whenever the police department is involved in a death case or the insurance have any reason to believe that there might be discrepancies in the entire policy and cause of death, the payout will be delayed or even frozen indefinitely. On the bright side, if it takes longer than normal to clear a claim check, the policy will still be active during that time and will accumulate interest. So, based on the interest rate at the time, the insurance company has no benefit to derive from slowing up the process. On the other hand, they would prefer the process goes through issue free and the right person is paid quickly. After payment,, the beneficiary as the option of how they would prefer to collect the funds. Some chose to collect it all at once and just be done at the insurance company. While others elect to get the money in monthly installment deposited to an account or collected in check format. On a few rare occasions, there are those beneficiaries who leaves the money at the company on deposit and watch it gradually grow with interest and dividends. Of course, for this to happen, this will always be some side benefit to the insurance company for holding those funds. On rare occasions, the deceased might have an account the beneficiary has difficulty locating the policy. In cases like this, Life Insurance Councils exist to locate this policy at a small fee.