When filing a life insurance claim should documents be received from the insurance company before sending the death certificate?

If you want to be sure your claim gets paid, and not denied, get the death certificate before you send anything to the insurance company. Many times we see death certificates that state causes of death, such as "head trauma...due to intoxication", that are not accurate but will certainly get the claim denied. If you get the death certificate first you can deal with any issues of improper reporting. I work at the Center for Life Insurance Disputes and we help clients collect death benefits.