How to make a Life Insurance Claim?


How to make a Life Insurance Claim?

Purchasing life insurance is meant to provide support for one's family after passing away. Want to learn more about the specific claims process, the time required for approval, and the documents needed for preparation? Bowtie has prepared the following claims guide to provide detailed instructions for your beneficiaries, so they don't feel lost or helpless.

Definition of Life Insurance Payouts

Under what circumstances can one receive payouts?

When the insured person passes away during the coverage period, the beneficiary of their life insurance policy will receive a lump sum payment. The prerequisite for eligibility for compensation is that the cause and circumstances of the insured person’s death must comply with the terms and coverage of the policy.


Mr. Chan purchased life insurance from Company A, and “suicide” is listed as an “life insurance exclusion” in that policy. If Mr. Chan passes away due to suicide, his beneficiary will not receive life insurance death benefit.

The type of life insurance may also affect whether the beneficiary can receive compensation:

 Term Life InsuranceWhole Life Insurance/ Savings Life Insurance
Payouts DefinitionUsually has a specified coverage period, and if the insured person passes away after the coverage period, the beneficiary will not receive coverageGenerally, the coverage period is longer, up to lifetime (or up to age 100)
ExampleIf the policy coverage period is until age 85, Mr. Chan does not need to pay premiums after he turns 86. However, if he passes away at age 89, his beneficiary will not receive compensationThe general payment period is 20-30 years. Mr. Chan has already paid all premiums by age 56. Even if he passes away at age 99, as long as the cause of death is within the scope of coverage, the beneficiary can receive compensation。

Bowtie Tip: Although Whole Life and Savings Life insurance provides a longer coverage period, the premiums are generally more expensive. Conversely, term life insurance offers better value for money. For example, with Bowtie Life Insurance, under the same premium, the coverage amount is 40 times higher than that of general endowment insurance products, with monthly premiums as low as HK$24* per HK$1 million of coverage! It is recommended to weigh the pros and cons and compare the details of both types of insurance before purchasing, and choose the product that best suits your needs.

  • *Calculated based on the standard premium for a non-smoking 18-year-old female

Who can receive Death Benefits?

The beneficiary designated on the policy can receive death compensation. Generally, the beneficiary is the insured person’s spouse, direct relatives, or children.

What documents are needed for a Life Insurance Claim?

Different insurance companies may require different documents. The following information can be used as a reference. It is recommended to inquire with the insurance company when applying for a claim.

 BowtieTraditional Insurers
Application FormNo need to fill out a physical form
  • Fill out a claims application form
  • Fill out a self-declaration form^
Identification Documents
  • Copy of the deceased’s canceled Hong Kong ID card¹
  • Copy of the beneficiary’s Hong Kong ID card
  • Proof of the relationship between the deceased and the beneficiary, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate
  • Copies of the Hong Kong ID/passport of the deceased and beneficiary
  • Copies of documents proving the relationship between the deceased and the beneficiary, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate
Documents related to the Cause of Death
  • Original death certificate
  • Other medical documents issued by the hospital/ doctor
  • Original death certificate
  • Medical report (if required)
Other Documents
  • Authorization from the beneficiary to obtain the insured person’s medical report from the hospital/doctor
  • Authorization from the beneficiary to authorize a third party to handle the claim on their behalf
Insurance policy (if unable to provide, please provide a written statement)

📞Bowtie CS Team: If you are unsure about the documents required, you can contact us anytime via WhatsApp or call us at 3008 8123! If you miss any documents, don’t worry, we will proactively follow up with you.

  • ¹The Immigration Department will cancel the deceased's ID card when processing the death certificate
  • ^A self-declaration is a formal statement made by the account holder about their tax residency status, to be filled out by the claimant/beneficiary. The form filler needs to provide the policy number, personal information (name, ID/passport number, current address), jurisdiction of residence, tax identification number, and declaration of exchange of financial account information, etc

Life Insurance Claims Process

The arrangements for each insurance company may be different. The following information can be used as a reference. It is recommended to inquire with the insurance company when applying for a claim.

BowtieTraditional Insurers
Application MethodThere are 2 ways to apply for a claim:

1. Online Claim

Need to provide the policyholder’s name, policy number (if any), your information (relationship with the policyholder and contact method, etc.) and the insured person’s condition (such as illness, etc.)

2. Contact our Claims Specialist

  • Bowtie Service Center: Ground Floor, Emperor Group Centre, 58-64 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
  • Office Hours: Monday to Friday: 9am to 7pm; Saturday: 10am to 2pm; Closed on Sundays and public holidays
  • Email:
  • Phone Number: 3008 8123
Submitted by intermediaries/ in person or mailed to the insurance company’s address
Claim ProcessThe beneficiary or direct relative can submit the application after the insured person passes away.

  1. The beneficiary submits all documents
  2. The claims adjuster investigates the documents
  3. Confirm that the insured person’s death meets the claims conditions
  4. Bowtie will deposit the death benefits directly into the beneficiary’s bank account and notify them via email/ SMS/ phone.
  1. The beneficiary submits all documents
  2. The claims adjuster investigates the documents
  3. Confirm that the insured person’s death meets the claims conditions
  4. The insurance company will transfer the death benefits to the designated automatic payment account or via FPS/ cheque

How long does Life Insurance take to pay out?

Regardless of the insurance company, the time required for a life insurance claim depends on the circumstances of the individual case.

  • Simple case: When the insured person’s situation meets the claims conditions, the beneficiary can receive compensation. The submission of documents to approval usually takes about 1 month, and the amount will be deposited directly into the beneficiary’s provided bank account afterwards.
  • Case requiring additional documents: When the insurance company needs to obtain medical documents from relevant institutions (such as hospitals/ clinics) to evaluate the case.

The process is as follows (if the case requires obtaining documents from hospitals/ clinics):

  • The claims adjuster requests medical reports and medical history of the policyholder from the relevant hospital/ clinic
  • The hospital/ clinic will respond to the insurance company’s requestAs each hospital/ clinic has different procedures and handling methods, the entire claims process time also depends on the speed of response from each hospital/ clinic

😎 Bowtie Claims Adjuster: Don’t worry! We will keep in touch with you!

💡 What cases may require additional documents?

Scenario 1

Mr. Chan purchased Bowtie Life Insurance and passed away due to cancer 1 week later. During the claims review, the claims adjuster found that Mr. Chan had already suffered from cancer before purchasing the policy, but he did not declare this important health condition during the application process, so the underwriting department of the insurance company could not evaluate the customer’s overall physical condition.

In this case, if the underwriting department had known Mr. Chan’s condition at the time of application, the life insurance policy might not have been approved.

Scenario 2

Miss Li purchased Bowtie Life Insurance and passed away due to cancer 1 year later. The claims adjuster requested medical reports from the attending doctor and hospital to review the case and found that Miss Li’s cancer had only been diagnosed 3 months ago. As Miss Li’s illness appeared after the life insurance policy became effective, the claims case was approved.

Benefits of Life Insurance as a Non-estate Asset

When dealing with an estate, the executor (spouse, children, father and/or mother, or siblings) needs to obtain an “Apply for the Grant” and prepare a list of assets and liabilities to be processed.

If the estate and will are not properly planned, relatives may need more than a year to claim the estate. If they (the executor) are not sure how much estate and liabilities the deceased had, they may need to carefully check their life insurance policies, investment accounts, bank documents, mortgage payments, and credit card debts, etc.

Life insurance” does not require estate administration processing (because the beneficiary has been designated by the policyholder at the time of purchase), so the deceased’s relatives can avoid lengthy estate administration procedures. Generally speaking, if the policy conditions are met, the beneficiary can directly receive compensation after the policyholder’s death.

1. Is there a time limit for claiming life insurance benefits?

The arrangements of each insurance company vary, and it is recommended that you inquire with the insurance company when applying for a claim. As an example, at Bowtie, we understand that beneficiaries and family members may be busy dealing with matters, so we do not set a time limit for claims.

2. Are there any differences in the claims process if the insured person passes away outside of Hong Kong?

If the insured person passes away overseas, the claims process is generally the same as for a regular case, but the required documents may differ. Insurance companies (including Bowtie) may require additional documents from relatives, such as:

  • Identity cancellation certificate issued by the immigration department (for Hong Kong permanent residents)
  • Cancellation of household registration certificate (for Chinese mainland citizens)
  • Death registration certificate from the home country (for overseas citizens)
3. How can I ensure that the beneficiary can receive the death benefits?

Anyone who has purchased life insurance should keep a record of the policy information and inform the beneficiary of relevant details, including policy terms and conditions, coverage scope, insured amount, policy number/account, etc.

In addition, the insured person should also inform the beneficiary of the insurance company’s contact information, including the phone and email of the intermediary or customer service department of traditional insurance companies, to ensure that the beneficiary or relatives can follow up on the claims process.

Next article - Life Insurance Exclusions
Under what circumstances will the insurer deny life insurance claims? What can you do in case of unreasonable denial of a claim?
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