Frequently Asked Questions
What or who is a beneficiary?
A beneficiary is the person(s) or entity you select to receive the proceeds of your life insurance or any remaining benefits of your annuity contract upon your death.
Naming beneficiaries helps ensure that those benefits will be transferred directly to the named individual(s) of your choosing without requiring probate. It gives you the flexibility to decide how you wish for these benefits to be distributed, and facilitates a smooth transfer at a sad, stressful time for your loved ones.
What is the difference between a primary and a contingent beneficiary?
Your primary beneficiary(ies) will be the first to receive the death benefit. If you list more than one primary beneficiary, the proceeds will be split evenly, unless you indicate specific percentages for each beneficiary.
A primary beneficiary may be an individual(s) but could also be a trust or other legal entity. Often, a primary beneficiary is a parent, spouse, or if your spouse has predeceased you, even distribution among adult children.
A contingent (alternate) beneficiary(ies) would receive the death benefit proceeds only if none of the primary beneficiary(ies) are living at the time of your death, or if they refuse to accept the proceeds. It is a good idea to have a contingent beneficiary to ensure your death benefit proceeds avoid becoming payable to your estate where they may become subject to probate, estate taxes, or escheated to the insured’s resident state.
If you’re uncertain about who to name as your primary or contingent beneficiary, or if you are considering naming a minor child as beneficiary, consult with your Woman’s Life Representative or a family law attorney for guidance.
Why should I review my beneficiaries periodically?
Choosing beneficiaries and keeping those choices up to date is an important part of owning life insurance. Without a validly named beneficiary, the life insurance proceeds will be distributed according to the terms of the insurance contract. This may result in proceeds going to family members such as spouse, children, parents or siblings, or it may go to your estate.
It’s a good habit to review your beneficiary choices annually to make sure they are current and to avoid unwanted outcomes or probate. Consider changes in marital status, deaths, or other life changes that may impact your beneficiary designation, and update accordingly.
Who should I name as my beneficiary(ies)?
A beneficiary is the person or entity you name in your life insurance contract to receive the death benefit when you die. You can name:
- One person
- Two or more people
- The trustee of a trust you’ve created
- A charity
- Your estate
If you don’t name a beneficiary, the death benefit or remaining annuity benefits will be distributed according to the terms of the insurance contract.
Your Woman’s Life Representative or estate planning professional can help you determine appropriate beneficiary designations.
How can I review my current beneficiaries?
You’ll find this information in a couple of places:
- Logon to the MemberWeb and View Your Policy Information.
- Select the certificate number(s) you want to review under “Your Policies”. Beneficiary information will be listed toward the top.
- Select the certificate number(s) you want to review under “Your Policies”. Beneficiary information will be listed toward the top.
- Call our Member Service Department at (800) 521-9292. A Member Service representative will verify your identity and review the beneficiaries on your account.
- If you receive an Annual Statement or Annual Report & Benefit Statement in the mail, it will include a listing of your current beneficiary designations.
* If you have not registered for an account on the secure MemberWeb, click the “Logon” button at the top of the website. Under “I Am a Member”, select “Register” and complete and submit the registration form.
When should I consider changing my beneficiary?
The most common reasons to change a beneficiary include:
- A new marriage
- A divorce
- A designated beneficiary or someone else in the family dies
- A move that takes you out of state or out of the country
- When a minor beneficiary reaches the age of 18
- The birth or adoption of a child (NOTE: if you are considering naming a minor child as beneficiary, consult with your Woman’s Life Representative or a family law attorney for guidance.)
- You become the caretaker of an elderly parent or disabled family member
How do I change my beneficiary?
You can change the beneficiary designations on your certificate(s) at any time. When you need to change a beneficiary(ies), use the Application for Beneficiary Change form, print the blank form to complete and sign or can fill in the information electronically first and then print it to sign. A handwritten signature of both the certificate owner and a disinterested witness are required. Return the completed form to Woman’s Life by mail, or scan the completed and signed form and submit it via the Secure File Exchange through the MemberWeb.
How do I pay my premium?
You can use the following methods to pay your premium:
- Mail quarterly, semi-annual, or annual premium payments to:
Woman’s Life Insurance Society
PO Box 5020
Port Huron, MI 48061-5020
- Have monthly premium payments automatically deducted from a bank account by submitting a Request for Automatic Bank Draft Plan form.
- You can make a one-time credit or debit card payment from all states except New Jersey using your credit or debit card with a VISA, Mastercard, or Discover logo.
- In select approved states, you can make recurring monthly or quarterly credit card payments using a credit or debit card with a Visa, Mastercard or Discover logo. To learn whether your state permits this, call the Accounting Department at (800) 521-9292.
Can I make a premium payment if I am not the insured or owner of the certificate?
Yes. You may call the Accounting Department at (800) 521-9292 to make a credit/debit card payment or mail a check to: Woman’s Life Insurance Society, 1338 Military St, PO Box 5020, Port Huron MI 48061-5020. Reference the certificate number in the memo line.
Note: You will need to get the certificate number and amount due from the certificate owner. Due to privacy laws, we are unable to provide that information to you without specific authorization from the certificate owner.
Can I make a premium payment online when it is past the due date?
A credit card payment may be made through the MemberWeb up to 40 days past the due date. If you have a MemberWeb account, logon and view Payments Due. Click on Make Payment. Note: Nothing will show here if a billing has not been created.
How do I file a death claim for a Woman’s Life member?
The process starts by reporting the death of an insured or annuitant to our Claims Department. The steps are outlined on our Report a Death page, or call the Woman’s Life Claims Department at (800) 521-9292.
I am the beneficiary of a Woman’s Life Insurance certificate according to the will, should I send in a copy of the will?
No. The certificate is a contract between the insured and Woman’s Life Insurance Society and claims are paid according to the last beneficiary named on the certificate, not according to a will. If no named beneficiary is living, payment is made according to Section 71 of the Woman’s Life Laws and Articles of Incorporation.
What if I don’t have the claim number?
That’s okay. We’ll match your claim documents by the insured or annuitant’s name and other identifying information. The claim number is not required.
My last name has changed since I was named as beneficiary, do I need to submit proof of my name change?
No, a beneficiary does not need to submit proof of a name change. We can match the beneficiary using other personal identifying information.
Is there a time limit on completing a death claim?
We understand it may take some time to obtain a death certificate or to complete the paperwork, especially if there are multiple beneficiaries. Once the process is initiated, we will follow up every 30 days. It is important that you stay in touch, since we are required to follow unclaimed property laws.
Does the beneficiary need the original Woman’s Life certificate to file a death claim or to receive the proceeds?
No, a beneficiary does not need to have the original certificate to file the death claim or to receive the death benefit proceeds. While we encourage you to keep your Woman’s Life certificate(s) in a safe place along with other important documents, we recognize that the original certificate may be lost or destroyed during the insured’s lifetime. If the certificate is found after a death claim has been processed, it should be destroyed.
What if I want to use the funds to pay for the funeral?
A claimant or beneficiary may choose to assign the death benefit proceeds to a funeral home. Funeral homes are very familiar with this process and will have you sign a funeral home assignment form. The funeral home will send Woman’s Life the completed assignment form and statement of charges for the funeral services. We will not provide the funeral home with the amount of death benefit proceeds from the certificate, and any proceeds still available after the funeral home expenses are paid, will be paid directly to the beneficiary(ies).
What if I don’t need the money from this claim? Can I set these funds aside for my own retirement in the future?
Certainly! At Woman’s Life our mission is to help you prepare for a secure financial future for yourself and your family. We have representatives available to discuss your goals and how our products can fit your needs. Call Woman’s Life at (800) 521-9292 and ask to speak to a Sales Representative.
What if there was a divorce between the insured and the beneficiary?
Each state has laws pertaining to divorce which may affect a beneficiary designation. If, at the time of the insured’s death, the claimant or beneficiary is the insured’s former spouse, we will request a copy of the Judgement of Divorce to determine if the life insurance or annuity was addressed by the court.
Who can witness my signature?
Any adult age 18+ can sign as a witness to your signature. When completing documents such as a reinstatement or change of beneficiary, your signature must be witnessed by a disinterested person, in other words, someone who is not listed as a beneficiary on your certificate.
Who is a disinterested person?
A disinterested person can be any adult other than the: insured, owner, claimant or named beneficiary. Someone not associated with the certificate is a disinterested person who may witness your signature.
Who signs if the certificate owner is a minor, a trust, an assignee, or a corporation?
If the certificate owner is:
- A minor or junior member under 16 years old: The Junior’s Representative, which is generally the parent or legal guardian who signed the application for insurance. If the Junior member is age 16 to 20, the Junior member and their representative would both sign.
- A Trust: The Trustee.
- An Assignee: The Assignee
- A Corporation: A Corporate Officer
Note: Additional documentation may be required for each of these circumstances. Contact Member Service at 800-521-9292 for details.
Woman’s Life Secure MemberWeb
How do I create or register for a MemberWeb account?
In the top right area of any page on the Woman’s Life website, click the blue “LOGON” button.
· In the box that says: “I am a Member”, click “REGISTER”
· Complete the registration form and click the “Register” button at the end of the form.
o You will need your member number, located on billing notices and annual reports.
· You will receive an email verification with a link you’ll need to click to verify your account.
· Your UserName is your full email address.
For privacy and security reasons, each MemberWeb account must have its own unique email address. For example, family members cannot use the same email address for multiple accounts; each family member would need to register for an account with a different email address.
How can I change the email address to access my MemberWeb account?
To change the email address/UserName on your MemberWeb account:
· Logon to the MemberWeb using the current email address/UserName
· Once logged on, click “PROFILE” in the blue action box in the top right corner of the screen.
· On the Profile screen, enter the new email address in the UserName field
· Click the “SAVE” button
· A verification email will be sent to the new email address
o You’ll need to click the Verify Email Address link in that email to confirm use of the new email as your user name.
· Once your UserName, click the Logoff link in the blue action box at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
· You will now access your MemberWeb account with your new email address/UserName.
What information can I find on the MemberWeb?
You can view details about all of your certificates including:
· Certificate number
· Your face amount or fund balance
· Beneficiary information
You can also access a number of forms to help you manage your certificates including
· Current year Annual Statements
· Change of Address Requests
· Request Good Health Benefits
· Make payments online (where available)
· Tax documents (when applicable)