When does a term life insurance policy pay out and how long does it usually take?

  • Term life insurance is a popular part of long-term financial planning. To effectively incorporate a term life insurance policy into your financial portfolio, you must understand how and when term life insurance payouts are delivered to beneficiaries. This includes understanding how quickly benefits will be paid and designing a policy with the payout option that works best for your financial planning.
  • Typically, term life insurance benefits are paid when the insured has died and the beneficiary files a death claim with the insurance company. Many states allow insurers 30 days to review the claim after receiving a certified copy of the death certificate. Then insurers can payout benefits, deny the claim, or ask for additional information to process the claim.
  • The default payout option of most term life policies remains a lump sum check. You should work with your insurance agent to determine which payout option would best for your situation since the type of insurance policy you own can affect the payout process.