Many family members pass on without ever mentioning to their family that they have a life insurance policy to pass down. When it goes for a long time without being claimed, it then becomes that much more difficult to track down. However, if you believe there is one out there, then it is definitely something you should start looking for.
Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies
The current estimate regarding life insurance policies is that every one out of 600 persons has an insurance policy that has gone unclaimed. Most policies are worth an average of $2,000. Insurance companies do try their best to find the people who currently have unclaimed life insurance policies. Unfortunately, some states are making it harder for companies to find the people they are looking for. Many laws now state that the companies need to use social security numbers as a way to track down the individuals who are owed cash.
Finding Your Life Insurance Policy- Putting in the Time
It will take a good deal of time and energy to find unclaimed life insurance money. The life insurance companies will only give out information to those who can absolutely prove they are the beneficiaries of the policy. It can be hard to get the company to talk to you if you cannot prove this fact.
Look for Paperwork
It will be quicker to find the paperwork from someone who recently passed away. Look at bank statements from the mail that could show that there were recent payments made. If the person had personal files, search through them for any policy information.
Look for the Insurance Company
If you are positive that there is a policy, get in contact with the insurance company as soon as possible. Most will offer you suggestions as to how to find the policy. If you do not have any luck contacting the insurance company, get in touch with the state insurance department instead.
Check the Correct State
You will need to know what state the policy was actually purchased in. They may have died in Pennsylvania, but purchased the insurance policy in New York. The insurance company may no longer even be in business. If this is the case, the state insurance commissioner is the next person to contact with your information.
Check with Previous Employers
Many people have the opportunity to purchase a life insurance policy directly through their employer. Most of these are term policies, meaning they are for a limited time only. This means that once the person stops working for the company, the policy is terminated. But there will be times that the employee themselves will keep up with the policy. A former employer may be able to help.
Look for Financial Connections
Your loved one may have had their own personal finance planner or accountant. If so, they would likely have some information on their insurance policy. Many people still have a personal insurance agent that they go through who will be able to help in many cases.
Check the Missing Policy Locator
Check your local insurance office. You will also be able to submit a request to the company asking them to check their files if you do believe you are the insurance beneficiary.
Unclaimed Property Files
Once insurance policies go unclaimed for some time they are sent on to an unclaimed property office. Check the state the policy was taken out in. An insurance rating agency may also be helpful.
MIB Database Search
This database previously stood for Medical Information Bureau and will have a list of insurance applications. They do charge a fee, however, so save this option for last.
What to Understand
It’s too late to get information from your loved one. But if they did have life insurance benefits that you think you are entitled to, you should do what you can to locate the policy.
If you have a life insurance policy of your own, make sure to let all of your beneficiaries know about it. The insurance company should always have updated information about your beneficiaries, as well. This should include their social security number, name, address and phone number. This will make it easier for them to track down your beneficiaries after you are gone.
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