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Claims frequently asked questions

When you’re ready to make a claim, we understand you may have many questions. This list provides answers to the questions we hear most often.

Claims process questions

  1. Notify us of the death of the insured/annuitant by starting a claim online or by contacting us directly at 1-800-424-1592.
  2. We will then verify the beneficiaries.
  3. We'll reach out to beneficiaries and ask them to complete a claim packet and provide any necessary documents, such as a certified copy of the death certificate and some beneficiary identification documents.
  4. Once all documents and forms are returned, we'll review the claim.
  5. After review, we'll either process the claim or contact the beneficiary for any additional information needed.
You can quickly and easily file your claim online by clicking here, or if you'd like additional assistance throughout the process, you can contact us at 1-800-424-1592.
Filing a claim online is the quickest and easiest way to file a claim. If you have a death certificate to upload, this will expedite the process.
The answer is no — it's the same claims process whether the policy is with Athene, Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company, MONY Life Insurance Company, Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Protective Life Insurance Company, The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, West Coast Life, or Zurich.

You'll visit, follow the same steps and provide required documents:
  • Complete the enclosed claim form in its entirety by each beneficiary.
  • A certified copy of the death certificate.
  • Return the original policy or contract if available. If these documents are not easily accessible, in SECTION D of the claim form select "The original policy(ies), or a copy, cannot be found."
  • Complete, sign, and return the enclosed IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification).
Technically, there is no limit on how long the beneficiary has to file a claim. Obtaining information is much easier when the death is recent, so we prefer to be notified as soon as possible.

Documentation questions

The documents needed to file a claim vary, but generally a certified copy of the death certificate and some beneficiary identification documents are required.
For faster service, please use our online First Notification of Loss at However, if this isn't possible, please refer to the life insurance claims form.
The IRS Form 712 is a statement that provides Life Insurance Policy values as of the date of an insured’s or policy owner's death, or at a time a Life Insurance Policy is transferred as a gift. The IRS requires that this statement be included when an estate (or gift) tax return is filed.
A certified death certificate is a copy of a death certificate that is guaranteed to be a true and exact copy of the original. You can obtain a certified death certificate at a court or government agency (i.e. a town or city hall) or the State Department of Vital Statistics. Your funeral home may also be able to help you get a copy if you are still in the process of making final arrangements.
Normally a copy of the pertinent pages is required if there has been a change of trustee from what is shown on our records.

Post-claim submission questions

Your policy may have specific settlement options. However, we offer the following payment methods on most products: ACH, check and Immediate Benefit Account (if available).
Generally, the claims process takes about two to three weeks. Because each claim is different and sometimes there are state regulations that may require additional processing time or adjudication, we are unable to provide an exact timeline for your specific claim. But please know that we are committed to processing your claim as quickly as possible and will be happy to update you on the status at any time.
Call us at 1-800-424-1592 and ask to speak to a claims specialist. We will advise you to complete an affidavit or guide you to have the estate probated.
For the fastest turnaround on claims less than $500,000, you can email your completed claim paperwork to or fax it to 205-268-6833. If your claim is more than $500,000 or you would prefer to physically mail the paperwork, our address is:

P.O. Box 12486
Birmingham, AL 35202

Disability claims FAQs

The purpose of disability insurance is to replace the lost income from work if you become disabled and are unable to work.
An elimination period is the amount of time you must be continuously disabled before you are eligible to receive benefits. The disability insurance policy rider will specifically define the time period.
You can find the amount of the payments and the duration of coverage specified in your policy.
The description of exactly what constitutes a disability is contained in your policy. While the analysis of determining someone's disability status is very complex, it often involves the review of your job description, earnings history, medical records and restrictions and limitations imposed on you by your physician.
Claims Administration
P.O. BOX 7048
Bedminster, NJ  07921
Or fax your information to 908-660-4589.
Please review your policy and/or rider provisions. Call us at the Claims Service Center at 1-800-424-1592, and we will be glad to help answer any questions.

General questions

Interest will be paid at such a rate as is required by the Contract or State Law, whichever is greater.
Normally, taxes are payable only on the interest paid on the death benefit proceeds or on the gain on an annuity contract. We urge you to consult with a tax professional if you are concerned these benefits may be taxable to you.
Call us at 1-800-424-1592 and ask to speak to a claims specialist. You will be required to send the official death certificate issued in the country where the death occurred, a completed Death of a US Citizen Abroad Questionnaire and Proof of Death, and a statement from the local doctor who certified the death.
An Immediate Benefit Account (IBA) is a retained asset account that offers a convenient way to access your money, earn interest and take your time to make investment decisions. An IBA is an interest-bearing draft account (similar to a checking account) for your benefit. With an IBA you can receive a personal checkbook and write checks to third parties, including individuals, stores, creditors, banks, brokerage firms and other financial institutions. You can also write a check to withdraw your entire balance and close your account at any time.

If your life insurance benefit amount is $25,000 or more and if you reside in a state where it's allowed, you may elect to receive your benefit through an IBA. To determine if an IBA is available for your claim or to get additional information, please call 1-800-424-1592.
Your immediate benefit account (IBA) can be managed online or by phone. Easily review and update your IBA by visiting our account service partner's website or calling their customer support at 1-866-412-2071.
You may notify us online or call us at 1-800-424-1592 to submit a certified death certificate.
A claim is considered contestable if the insured dies within a two-year period of the issue date of the policy. Generally, we complete a routine investigation to verify the information provided at underwriting. We try to complete the investigation as quickly as possible and keep the beneficiary informed of our progress.
Letters testamentary/administration are documents appointing the administrator or personal representative of a decedent's estate. They are usually issued by a probate court.

Helpful resources to navigate making a claim

We want to help make this difficult time a little easier for you and your loved ones. Explore our online resources dedicated to simplifying the claims process.
Father and son using a tablet to start a life insurance claim with Protective.
Submitting a life insurance or annuity claim
Middle-aged woman using a laptop to check a Protective claim status.
Tracking the progress of a submitted claim
A financial professional using a computer to show an older woman Protective's claims resources.
Understanding the claims process

Ready to start a claim?

You can quickly and easily start the claims process online using the link below. If you need assistance, please call us at 1-800-424-1592. Our claims team is available Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m. and Friday, 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m. CST.
Neither Protective nor its representatives offer legal, investment, or tax advice. We encourage you to consult your financial advisor and legal or tax advisor regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions.