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How to Speed Up a Life Insurance Payout

If you have the policy and death certificate when you file a claim, it may take as few as five business days to receive a check.

Question: How long does it usually take after a person dies for a life insurance company to pay out the death benefit? What happens if the beneficiary doesn't know about the policy?

Answer: The more information you have about the life insurance policy, the faster you can receive the payout. "Having the policy and death certificate when filing a claim expedites the process," says Jack Dolan, spokesman for the American Council of Life Insurers, a trade organization of life insurance companies. In that case, it can take as few as five business days after filing the claim to receive the payout.

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