Common Questions about Life Insurance Claims

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 (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.

If the claim is incontestible, payments are usually mailed 7-10 business days after New York Life receives a completed claim form and death certificate.

The beneficiary should provide a fully completed claim form and certified death certificate.

In addition to providing a certified death certificate and completed claim form, also 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, (800) 695-5165, to understand the requirements for settling a claim when the insured’s death is in a foreign country.

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.

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.

The claim may be settled through a Survivorship Affidavit - Deceased Insured. Call the New York Life toll free claims number, (800) 695-5165, to understand the requirements for settling a claim when the insured's beneficiary is an estate.

The claim may be settled through a Survivorship Affidavit - Deceased Beneficiary. Call the New York Life toll free claims number, (800) 695-5165, to understand the requirements for settling a claim when the beneficiary is deceased, and there is no estate.

The trustee should submit the fully completed claim form and a certified death certificate. A copy of the trust may also be requested.

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 provided 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.

A claim is considered incontestable when the insured's death occurs two years or more after the insurance date or reinstatement date.

A claim is considered contestable when the insured’s death occurs within two years of the insurance date or reinstatement date. On contestable claims, the Medical Information and Authorization section of the claim form needs to be completed.

New York Life will issue a check to the beneficiary's address provided on the claim form.

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 rights
(https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2014/03/planning-funeral-know-your-rights)

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 the Internal Revenue Service.

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.

The person(s) or entity designated by the insured to receive the death benefit.

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.

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.

You may call our toll free number, (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.

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