If you have anyone depending on you, life insurance is of paramount importance to ensure their financial safety. Once you have purchased a suitable life insurance policy all the beneficiary needs to do in order to collect the payment, is to give a legitimate copy of the insured person’s death certificate to the insurance company. However, if the policy has been mislaid and cannot be found, how does one go about claiming the money?
How to find a missing policy
As there is no Company nationwide that can assist you in finding the policy, you will have to look yourself. While it may be a cause of some consternation, finding it will ultimately bring about a substantial reward.
Here are nine ways of finding a life insurance policy that has been lost:
I: The deceased probably has files that may contain bank account records, documents, or receipts that are proof of a transaction with the insurance company.
II: Contact people who had business dealings with the insured, perhaps they had a business partner whom they trusted implicitly, or a lawyer who handled all their affairs. These people could provide you with the valuable information you need.
III: The insured may have been prudent enough to buy more than one type of life insurance policy, and could have been content enough with an insurance company to continue doing business with them. Finding any such records will simplify the recovery of the policy.
IV: A company’s HR department would have records of any group policy bought by the deceased, so find and contact their past employers.
V: Some life insurance policies pay expenses, and allow interest income to be earned, so have a look for previous income tax forms.
VI: For twelve months after death, the insurance company will issue premium notices or else a yearly statement regarding policy status will be posted to them. With this in mind, take a special interest in the deceased person’s mail for clues.
VII: Each state has a department of insurance, which is often used by companies trying to find beneficiaries of a life insurance policy. This is because the state department may have the requisite information to find the name of the insurance company used by an individual. Contact this department, and they may help you find what you are looking for.
VIII: In the event of a beneficiary not being found within three to five years, an insurance company may decide to give the state the proceeds for safety. If this is the case, a call to the unclaimed property office of the state could prove fruitful.
IX: When the deceased initially applied for life insurance, they would have to have undergone medical testing. The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) may have information on their database pertaining to the insurance company the deceased was insured with.
Time and Payments
There is no time limit when it comes to claiming on life insurance, yet astonishingly, it is claimed that one-quarter of all policies go unclaimed.Yes, even if a policy is discovered thirty years after the policy holder’s death, it can still be claimed, as long as there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding their death, and all premiums were paid.
If the policy holder dies suddenly, and results in the insurance policy being rendered null and void because the premiums were not paid, the company will always try to contact them to find out the reason. At this stage, the beneficiary can make it known that the policy holder is in fact, deceased. Upon producing a valid death certificate, the beneficiary is legally entitled to every cent due by the terms of the policy.
If the policy holder passes away with no one to claim the money however, the insurance company can either turn it over to the state for safekeeping as already outlined, or hold on to the money until the beneficiary becomes aware of the situation and claims it. No matter what, that money stays available until it is found.
The end result
It is often difficult to locate a missing life insurance policy, especially if it has been gone for a long time. It will take time and effort, but, invariably, putting in the hard yards and finding it will justify every second you spent in pursuit.