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Life insurance claims

When you’ve lost a loved one, making a life insurance claim on their behalf can ease any financial stress for you and your whanau during a difficult time.

We understand that you’ll be navigating a lot of emotions, so we make sure claim payouts are as straightforward and stress-free as possible. If you need to make a claim, or just want to understand how insurance claims work, this section will explain the process.

Did you know: In 2018 we paid out on 97% of our life insurance claims.

What is a life insurance claim?

A claim on a life insurance policy is usually made when the insured person passes away. The claim process begins when the person/people nominated on the life insured’s will file a claim with the insurance provider, requesting the deceased person’s insured sum to be paid out.

If there is no will in place, the person is said to have died intestate, and courts step in to say who is entitled to share the estate.

In some cases, a claim can be made on a life insurance policy if the insured person is diagnosed with a terminal or critical illness. If the policy holder is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Chubb Life will pay out the insured amount up to $500,000 to help cover any costs such as treatment or rehabilitation. If this amount doesn’t add up to the total amount insured, the remaining balance will be paid when the insured person passes away, provided premiums continue to be paid during this time.

At Chubb Life, our objective is to make the claim process smooth and efficient. Once we’ve received your completed claims forms, we aim to to assess your claim within five working days.

Our team is available to answer any questions you may have about your circumstances.

What else do I need to know?
What else do I need to know?

For some insurance companies, there'll be a beneficiary listed on the policy. This is the person (or people, if multiple are listed) who'll be paid out the insured sum of the policy when the insured person passes away.

At Chubb Life, we don’t have beneficiaries on life insurance policies. Instead, the payment is made either to any surviving joint policy owners, or in accordance with the policy holder’s will. A will is a legal document which clearly details how you want your assets, or any other meaningful items, to be distributed when you pass away. A will has an executor listed on it. This is the person who's been nominated to manage the estate of the deceased on their behalf.

Most people will encounter a lot of changes throughout their life - you might welcome a child into the world, get married or invest in a property, for example. Detailing these personal circumstances on a will ensures your final wishes are honoured and your family are taken care of when you pass away.

To summarise: writing a will is a way to make sure that your financial legacy is protected and passed down to your nominated loved ones.

Although it is possible to name multiple people on a will, there are some cases where none of these people survive the insured person.

If this is the case, the policy payout will be made to the estate of the insured person and paid to any surviving relatives, in accordance with New Zealand law. If there are no surviving relatives, the insurance payout and the proceeds of the estate will be gifted to the crown.

A claim can be made on a life insurance policy in the event of the insured person’s death or diagnosis with a terminal illness. If the policy also includes an optional critical illness benefit, a claim can also be made on a wider range of illnesses or events.

You can check out your policy wording for more information on when you can make a claim under your life insurance policy.

In most cases, the owner of the insurance policy is the insured person or a trusted person, like a spouse or close family member. The owner/s of the policy is able to make changes, premium payments, upgrades, decrease cover or cancel the policy.

If the insured person dies within two years of the life insurance policy being taken out, the insurance company may investigate whether the insured person was honest about any pre-existing medical conditions when applying for insurance cover. If it is found that the insured person was acting in a dishonest or fraudulent way, the insurance company has the right to deny the claim.

A claim on a life insurance policy can also be denied if the insured person commits suicide within the first 13 months of the policy’s start date. For more information, refer to your policy wording document.

This is the grant by the High Court which allows the executor(s) of the deceased’s will to act on their behalf. Once granted, the executor(s) have the authority to handle the deceased’s assets and liabilities in accordance with their will. In order to do this, the executors need to complete a probate application form, which is then approved by the Registrar of the High Court. This is usually done through a lawyer, Public Trust or a statutory Trustee Company.

An application for a Letter of Administration is made if the person who has passed has not left a will, or their will can’t be authorised. This may be the case if the will’s executor has also passed. Once the application has been received, the High Court may grant the nominated person to administer the deceased’s estate on their behalf.

In some cases, you’ll need to provide a probate or letter of administration when making a claim.

If you still have any questions, the Chubb Life team would be happy to help. Just get in touch with the Chubb Life team who'll be able to answer any of your queries.

Other helpful resources
Other helpful resources

How much life insurance do I need?

Learn about what levels of cover you might need for your life age and stage.

What is life insurance?

Why get life insurance at all? Find out about why it is important to give you and your family peace of mind.

What is a life insurance policy?

What does it mean to have a life insurance policy?

Contact us
Contact us

More than just life insurance


The right life insurance can you bring peace of mind from knowing that you've protected what matters most.

Your insurance is underwritten by Chubb Life Insurance New Zealand Limited (Chubb Life). Chubb Life has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating given by A.M. Best Company Inc. A summary of the rating scale is: A++, A+ Superior | A, A- Excellent | B++, B+ Good | B, B- Fair | C++, C+ Marginal | C, C- Weak | D Poor | E Under Regulatory Supervision | F In Liquidation | S Suspended. For the full rating scale and more rating information visit