• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Employer not filing group life insurance claim.

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


New member
My mother had life insurance through her work, and died rather suddenly about a month and a half ago. The HR department never contacted me (they spoke with my brother, who is the other beneficiary), and they also never filed the insurance claim. I spoke with the life insurance company directly today after speaking with the HR department last week and being told that the HR department "forgot" to submit the paperwork, and then not hearing from HR since.

Tried calling HR after speaking to the life insurance company, and the people who handle this won't return my calls and no one else in HR can/will give me any information.

Is there a time limit on what's considered "reasonable" for HR to have filed the claim? Can I go around them? Can I force them to file? Funeral/cemetery costs have really added up (I'm a postgrad student, so it's not like I have funeral expenses money laying around...), and my mother has debt that we need to take care of so we need to go through probate court... so that money from her life insurance would be extremely helpful in defraying all those expenses.


I'm a Northern Girl
I'm sorry for your loss.

To be honest, a month and a half is well within what might be considered reasonable for employer-sponsored life insurance. There's a lot more to a death claim than just filing a few papers, and the rep on the phone at the life insurance company (on the day before a holiday, when there's likely to be a lot of people off and people covering stations they don't usually cover) is not necessarily the best source of accurate information. The same applies to trying to get through to HR today.


Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I, too, am sorry for your loss.

Please keep in mind that in many (most?) US states, the life insurance proceeds are not part of the estate (unless the estate is the beneficiary). The beneficiaries of the proceeds are not required to use the money to pay any outstanding debts your mother may have had at the time of her death. Any expenses that you incur for burial expenses are very near the top of the list for reimbursement in probate.

Dandy Don

Senior Member
Sorry for your loss. I'm hoping that the insurance company will have a record of the form that your mother used to designate her beneficiaries, and hoping that the beneficiary designation form is NOT part of the paperwork that HR Department "forgot" to submit. If there are no designated beneficiaries, the funds will have to go through probate. How odd that HR would not respond to a very simple request.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential