The benefits of a life insurance policy often go unclaimed because its beneficiaries don’t know about it. However, life insurance is an important part of financial planning, and for this very reason, one must not misplace it or forget about it. It is the responsibility of the policyholders to inform about the benefits and coverage of the policy to their family members.
Commonly, no one wants to talk about their death in front of their family members. However, it is necessary to disclose such information before your death so that the benefits of some cash and insurance value don’t go unclaimed.
How can legislation help you?
Some insurance companies put effort into notifying the beneficiaries about the unclaimed benefits of the policy. In addition, other individual states have created legislation that requires the life insurance companies to notifying the beneficiaries about the policy.
The problem arises when you are unsure if you are the beneficiary of a lost life insurance policy. You will have to search for the deceased paperwork, including the bills and other records, in such a situation. You can also search for the policy by Policy locator service from MIB solutions.
Searching for your life insurance policy
If you need to find out your policy, you will have to contact the insurance company. Although, you might have to research a bit if the name of your policy had been changed or involved in a merger. Ask the insurer about a document called policy-in-force-illustration.
This document has details about the cash values, surrender values, death benefits and other information about the beneficiary. To find these details, you will have to provide the insurer with your policy number and personal identity information. After that, you can review those documents with the agent of the company.
Searching for the deceased’s life insurance policy
The American council of life insurers (ACLI) had given several ways so that your search for a forgotten life insurance policy can be successful:
- Look for the personal possessions of the deceased, including household and business.
- Make sure to check the emails regarding income taxes and other expenses. You might find mail regarding the updates of policy.
- Contact the employees where the deceased worked in the past.
- If you were able to find the policy, contact the insurance company. Also, you need to have the deceased’s death certificate so that you can prove that you are a close relative of the deceased.
- Generally, insurers provide the payout for the policy within five years of death. This law varies from state to state. If several years had passed away since the death of the deceased, you might have to contact the deceased’s state’s unclaimed property officer to know whether the benefits of the life insurance policy has been turned over to the state.
Finding out if you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy
The beneficiary may have no idea about the life insurance policy, for policyholders are not under any obligation to tell you. Due to this very reason, benefits remain unclaimed. Moreover, even the company won’t notify you unless it knows that the policyholder has died.
The best way for knowing if you are the beneficiary or not is to ask before the death. Though, it might be uncomfortable to ask as it will make you look greedy for the money.
However, it is important to have an open conversation about it. You can also ask the person to keep their personal paperwork where it can be accessed. Performing these steps before someone dies can, later on, save you from wasting your time and efforts.
If you are sure that your loved one had a policy, but you don’t know who the insurer is, search for the papers. Even the payment records can help you in getting an idea about the insurer. You can also search the deceased’s name on the policy finder website.
After you find out the insurer, you need to confirm whether you are the beneficiary or not. If you are, then you will have to submit proof of the deceased’s death. After that, the company will mail the claims forms to you and other beneficiaries, which you will have to submit along with a copy of the death certificate.
How can you find out the unclaimed funds?
When the insurer cannot find out the beneficiary of anyone’s policy, it will be transferred to a state unclaimed funds account after several years. You will have to search for it on the unclaimed fund’s website for the deceased’s home state.
If you find out the policy, you will have to contact the state’s unclaimed property administrator and submit the copy of the death certificate along with your identity proof. The administrator will inform you about the further procedures to claim the money if you are the beneficiary.
Don’t let the policy stay unclaimed
Getting the claims for long lost policy is difficult, as it will require lots of proof and procedures to be followed. Moreover, it is very time-consuming to perform rigorous research.
However, if you are so sure that you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, searching on the policy finder websites might work as it will match the deceased’s name with that of the policy. Make sure to have the permission of the deceased’s spouse or close relatives before accessing such information. For more Insurance Reviews keep visiting Our website.