• make it easier for beneficiaries to make claims and receive payments during a difficult time.
  • let us pay claims faster.
  • lessen the administrative burden on plan administrators.

We’ve had this program in place for individual life insurance for many years. If you currently manage both individual and group benefits business, you’ll now find harmonized claims processes across business lines.

We estimate that more than 80% of group benefits life claims will qualify for express payments.

What’s changing

For claims that qualify for express payments, we’ll no longer require a claimant statement from each beneficiary, and we won’t need proof of death. Instead, we will issue payment upon receiving a Notification of Death form from the plan administrator that provides:

  • the cause of death.
  • contact information for all beneficiaries, including the estate representative’s information if the estate is the beneficiary.
  • the name and phone number of the funeral home handling the deceased’s arrangements.

We’ve updated the Notification of Death form with a section where plan administrators can provide these details.

What claims qualify for express payments

The express payments process will apply to all plan members and eligible dependents covered under your plan. Group benefits life claims qualify for express payments if:

  • The total benefit payable for all life coverage under the group plan is $150,000 or less,
  • The death took place in Canada or the United States,
  • The beneficiary has a mailing address in Canada, and
  • We have received all enrolment forms, beneficiary change forms, or we’ve verified Sun Life’s digital beneficiary nomination.

There are some exceptions to express payments qualification. A claim will not qualify if:

  • The beneficiary is under the age of 18, or there are beneficiary complications, such as simultaneous death, homicide, or conflicting claimants.
  • For optional life, coverage was in force for less than 5 consecutive years, and we had asked for proof of good health before we approved coverage.

If an accidental death claim is submitted, we may be able to process the basic or optional portion of the claim under the express payments program, while we review the accidental death benefit.

Next steps

We’re asking plan administrators to use the new Notification of Death form. If the claim meets the express payments criteria, there’s no need to collect the claimant statement and proof of death before filing a claim.

We’ve also updated our Admin Guide to reflect the express payments criteria. The guide also provides instructions if the claim doesn’t qualify for express payments. You can ask your Sun Life Group Benefits representative for a copy of the Admin Guide.

Communication plan

We’re sharing this news with Clients in this Focus Update on March 21, 2024.

Questions? We’re here to help.

Please contact your Sun Life Group Benefits representative.