As an earning member of the family, you want to secure your family's future even when you are not around. A term insurance plan covers your family’s financial needs even after you are no longer with them. The plan pays out a pre-decided amount as a death benefit to your family. But who gets the death benefit?
The policyholder decides who will receive the death benefit while applying for the plan. The process of authorizing someone to receive the money as a beneficiary of the policy is called nomination, and the beneficiary is called the nominee. In other words, in the event of the death of the insured, the insurer pays the death claim amount to the nominee. It is mandatory to appoint a nominee during the application of the policy. A policyholder can appoint multiple nominees, and the death benefit is shared by all the nominees appointed.
Who Can Become Your Nominee?
A nominee is responsible for claiming the sum assured after the death of the insured. He/she can be anyone dependent on you or the one you trust to take care of your family in your absence, your immediate family, friends or even relatives. There are three categories under which you can appoint a nominee.
Beneficial Nominees -
In case the nominee is an immediate family member like parents, spouse or children, he/she is called a beneficial nominee. The death benefit is payable to the beneficial nominee, not any other individual or legal heir.
Minor Nominee -
Often, people appoint their children as nominees in their term plans . However, young children under 18 years of age are considered minor nominees. As minor nominees are not eligible to receive the claim account, an appointee needs to be declared by the policyholder. The appointee receives and manages the claim amount on behalf of the minor nominee.
Non-Family Nominees -
A close friend or a distant relative can become a non-family nominee. An important point to note here is that if you choose a non-family nominee, you need to provide an apparent reason for doing so in addition to all the documentation. Otherwise, the insurer may reject your application.
Why Should You Have Multiple Nominees In Your Term Plan?
Mainly, a policyholder appoints a single nominee while applying for a term plan, which is not ideal. In a family, there is always more than one dependent member who is eligible to receive claim benefits. If you appoint only one nominee and, unfortunately, he or she also passes away, the claim settlement process becomes quite complicated because it is difficult for the insurer to find out who is the legal heir of the insured. The survivors might have to seek legal help to identify an heir or a family dispute may arise.
To avoid such a situation, you should always appoint multiple nominees and also declare the percentage of the sum assured each one receives as a claim benefit. The share of the deceased nominee is divided proportionally among the remaining nominees. This ensures that everyone gets their fair share without any hassles. When you appoint multiple nominees, always remember to inform all the nominees and share the details of the policy and their claim percentage.
Important Points To Remember
- Always remember to update any changes in nominee details to the insurer and review your policy every year.
- In case there is no nomination, or the nominee dies within the tenure without any update in the policy, the claim benefit is paid to the legal heir like spouse, children or parents.
- A policyholder has the option of changing the nominee. You just have to fill out a nomination form and provide all the required documents to your insurer, and the nominee details will be updated.
The very purpose of a term plan is to protect your family’s financial future. Hence, the nomination is a very important part of the application process. Appointing a nominee ensures that someone will be there to claim and receive the policy benefit. He/she will manage the claim amount to ensure your family’s needs are taken care of. Also, a nominee must be aware of the policy details and the claim settlement process and possess a copy of the policy so that he can initiate a claim when needed.