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Term Life for NRIs: How would claims work in case of death abroad?

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01 Oct, 2021 by  Vishnu Shankar

Let's assume Ayush has purchased a term life plan for a tenure of 35 years in India in 2021. In 2025, he gets a job in the US and relocates there. Since Ayush's dependents (elderly parents) are in India, he continues his Indian term life policy.


Unfortunately, he passes away while in the US in 2026 due to natural causes and is not in violation of the policy terms. How would his dependents go about making a claim?


I'll tell you the reason why I have this question -


From what I've read so far, insurers expect these types of documents during claims:

  • Hospital cause of death certificate
  • Police report
  • FIR
  • Inquest report
  • Post-mortem report etc.


I have three concerns here:

  • Would insurers try to scam their way out of paying claims saying "these documents are issued by authorities of a different country and we only accept documents from Indian authorities" or such excuses?
  • What if certain document types do not exist in the country of death?
  • Example, "FIR" doesn't exist in the US.
  • What if such documentation is available, but is provided in a different language? (eg; Hospital Cause of Death certificate is in Spanish since the death occurred while he was in Mexico)
  • Is there a standard procedure followed in the insurance industry to address this?
  • Example: "Get a copy of the document translated to English and attested by a Gazetted Officer + an affidavit in Rs. 20 stamped paper by the claimant" or something like that?


I'm sure this is not that uncommon of a scenario, as there are many Indians who relocate abroad with dependents back in India.

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1 Answer

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02 Oct, 2021

Dear Vishnu

Insurance contract is done on utmost good faith and insured need to declare all facts known .

Once contract is done then it is applicable universally however documentation to establish event is necessary . Contract is valid even if insured relocates or take citizenship of other country . However , insurer may reject claim in case of travel to few forbidden countries.

There are various possibilities

1. Natural death abroad - process remain same , daath certificate and attending doctor certificate is given to family . In case of requirements , local embassy help you in getting documrnts . Insurance company accept the documrnts and settle claim . Embassy certifocates are valid and acceptable . There can be problem or investigation if death happens within 3 years of policy .

2. Accidental death - it is common in all country to have a Police report and post mortem . Same documfnts are acceptable.


So this is not your problrm ,insurance company are well equipped to handle such cases.


Hope this clarifies


Shailesh@insurancesamadhan.com



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