Report No. 82
5.8. Position of beneficiary.-
The position of the beneficiary under a life insurance policy in the U.S.A. may be thus stated in brief.1
The beneficiary is the person named in a life insurance policy to receive the benefit payable on the death of the insured. That person is not a contracting party and ordinarily cannot exercise any contractual rights prior to the death of the insured. Nevertheless, the policy is applied for and kept in force primarily for the benefit of the beneficiary. Naming the beneficiary, therefore, is one of the most important actions the applicant takes, and his right to change the designation later if he wishes, and as often as he wishes, is one of the most significant rights he acquires under the contract.
1. Greider & Beadles Law and the Life Insurance Contract, (1968), p. 140.