It’s estimated that there is $1 billion worth of forgotten and lost life insurance policies in America. Could you be among the estimated 1 in 600 people who may be the beneficiary of an unclaimed life insurance policy?
If so, there are ways to find a lost life insurance policy. Here are some tips to help.
- Comb the house. Sometimes the thing we’re missing is right under our nose. So first go through any files or safe deposit boxes where the lost life insurance policy may be before launching a full-fledged investigation.
- Think back to the beginning. Which insurance agent may have sold it? Which insurance company may have issued it? What was the name and Social Security number of the person who bought it? Was the policy a term or permanent life policy? Any information you can remember will help the insurance agent and/or customer representative you contact. You might also have to contact any attorneys, financial advisors, accountants or other advisors who might have had something to do with issuing the policy.
If the policyholder passed away relatively recently and you have the authority or permission, take a look at the deceased person’s bank statements for premium payments or policy-related material.
- Contact your state’s insurance department. By law, an insurance company that is unable to locate a policy’s beneficiary is required to turn over the benefits to the state’s unclaimed property office. Think about the state in which the policy could have been issued. Then visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website to learn how to contact your state insurance department.
Also consider contacting the deceased individual’s former employer. Many times the policies are group policies that were originally taken out through an employer.
- Watch out for scammers. There are life insurance scams out there whereby an “insurer” promises to reunite you with unclaimed funds. Don’t immediately respond to someone claiming to be the representative of an insurance company. Instead, call that insurance company’s claims number to see if the offer is legit.
How to prevent a lost life insurance policy in the first place
Spare yourself and your beneficiaries from the hassle caused by a lost life insurance policy by following this advice:
- Clearly name your beneficiaries on the policy.
- Let your beneficiaries know about the policy. Also tell them the name of the insurance agent and company that issued the policy.
- Keep your insurance documents in a safe, logical place like a fireproof safe or bank safe.
To learn more about life insurance and which kind of policy may benefit you and your loved ones, contact a professional like a local Erie Insurance Agent.