• 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.

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’ll 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 the required details can be provided by the plan administrator.

We estimate that more than 80% of group benefits life claims will qualify for express payments. This program is also in place for individual life. It’ll create a harmonized process for those submitting individual and group life claims for the same deceased person, providing a faster, more consistent experience across both claims.

What claims qualify for express payments

The express payments process will apply to all plan members (including retirees) 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 (basic and optional) 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’ve 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 won’t 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 five 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

Please 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 updated our Admin Guide with the express payments criteria. The guide also provides instructions for how to submit claims that don’t qualify for an express payments. In such cases, we’ll need proof of death, along with claimant statements completed by each beneficiary. You can find a copy of the Admin Guide on our Plan Sponsor Services website.

Questions? We’re here to help.

Please contact your Sun Life Group Benefits representative.