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What To Do If My Nominee Dies Before Me?

Published On Sep 03, 2021, Updated On Feb 14, 2022

During a death claim, the policyholder will nominate one or more people to receive the policy's benefits. A life insurance company will pay the proceeds of the policy to the nominee in the event of the unfortunate death of the assured person. 

Who Can Be A Nominee?

Nominees are designated by the policyholder and can be anyone to whom the policyholder would like to transfer the policy proceeds in the event of the policyholder's death during the policy term.

As per Section 39 of the Insurance Act 1938, as amended by the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015 (1) the policyholder of a life insurance may nominate the person or persons to whom the money secured by the policy shall be paid in the event of death. Before the policy matures for payment, nominations can be made when the policy is issued or at any time afterward. A person must be appointed as the nominee's guardian in cases where the nominee is a minor as per the insurer's rules.

Any immediate family member (like spouse, children or parents) is made the nominee. They will automatically become the beneficial owners of the claim benefits and be referred to as ‘Beneficial Nominee’. This means that the death benefit will be paid to beneficial nominees and not to any other legal heir.  

What Will Happen If The Nominee Dies Before The Policyholder?

It is payable to the policyholder, or his or her heirs or legal representatives at the time the policy matures for payment if the insured person or nominee dies before the policy matures for payment.

Upon the death of the policyholder, all benefits due under the policy would be paid to him. The nominee shall receive proceeds and benefits of the policy in the event the policy in the event the policyholder dies before the policy matures but before getting the proceeds.


In order to prevent any future disputes between nominees and legal heirs, it is always advisable to nominate an immediate family member. The nominee can be changed as many times as desired by the policyholder. Previous nominees are superseded by the most recent one. If you are nominating someone, make sure that the insurance policy is updated to avoid any potential disputes in the future.

Also read: 

Who Should Be The Nominee For Your Term Insurance?

Can A Nominee Claim From More Than One Term Life Insurance Policy?

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.        

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