Make sure to designate your beneficiaries
If you’re an active member, you will need to complete two beneficiary forms: one for Life insurance (with Great-West Life) and one for AD&D (with Chubb). If you’re a retiree, you only need to fill out the Great-West Life form (for Life insurance).
Please note, if you are appointing a minor (under age 18) as a beneficiary, then you will also need to complete the section on Trustee designation on these forms.
You can find the appropriate beneficiary designation forms on Cowan’s Member Access site.
Mail your completed form to:
Cowan Insurance Group
700-1420 Blair Place
Why does it matter? Submitting these forms will enable the insurance company to pay the benefits to your beneficiaries without the delay of settling your estate. It also ensures that your estate won’t be reduced by additional probate fees, and that the insurance money is provided to your beneficiaries tax-free.
If Cowan does not have signed beneficiary designation forms on file for you:
- Benefits will be paid to your estate and not directly to your desired beneficiaries; and
- Payment could be delayed under the rules and laws governing estates.
You may want to consider obtaining legal advice for more information on the implications of having your estate as your beneficiary.
Can I designate more than one beneficiary for a particular benefit? Yes. You can also choose different beneficiaries for Life insurance and for AD&D, based on your estate planning needs.
Beneficiary designations must be completed in ink and in the appropriate section, specifying your beneficiaries’ first and last names, along with the percentage allocated to each person. If you need to make changes, please strike through and initial the change – corrective liquid (e.g., “wite-out”) is not permitted.
How can I confirm my beneficiaries on file? You can view your designated beneficiaries by logging on to Cowan’s Member Access site. Keep in mind, if you experience a life event (e.g., getting married, having a baby, etc.) – or you simply want to change your beneficiaries – you can submit new beneficiary designation forms at any time.
Revocable versus irrevocable beneficiary: what’s the difference?
A revocable beneficiary can be changed by the plan member without the beneficiary’s signature, while an irrevocable beneficiary requires the beneficiary to sign off on any changes.
If you want to designate an irrevocable beneficiary for life insurance, you will have to fill out an additional Great-West Life form. If you want to designate an irrevocable beneficiary for AD&D, just write “irrevocable” on the Chubb form and initial it.
Have questions or need help? Please contact Cowan at 1-888-330-4010 or email@example.com.