When you think about a loved one dying, it’s hard to imagine anything worse. Now imagine that loved one had a life insurance policy and named you as the beneficiary – but you never knew about it and the benefit is left unclaimed.
It may be hard to believe, but in reality, life insurance payouts sometimes go unclaimed because of a lack of communication between the policy owner and their beneficiary. If one of your loved ones has died and you’re wondering whether there was a life insurance policy in place, there are solutions for finding a lost life insurance policy, according to the Insurance Information Institute.1 The Institute suggests:
- Looking for insurance-related documents or address books where any listed insurance agents might confirm the existence of a policy;
- Contacting the deceased’s most recent employer;
- Reviewing canceled checks and bank books;
- Checking with the state’s unclaimed property office; and
- Trying the MIB database (for a search fee) 1
If you believe a life insurance policy does exist but the document is lost, you have several options. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) suggests starting your search at its life insurance policy locator.2 The NAIC notes you should try to determine which insurance company issued the policy, which agent/broker sold the policy, and whether your loved one bought the policy through an employer. 2
So when retiree coverage changes dramatically or is canceled altogether, many are left looking to replace their retiree health benefits.
If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one and are wondering whether they had a life insurance policy in place, take the steps above. If you have questions about life insurance or are considering buying a policy, contact an independent broker or a licensed insurance agent.
- Insurance Information Institute, Lost for Life? Five Steps for Tracking Down a Lost Life Insurance Policy, 2015
- Looking in the Lost and Found: Finding a Life Insurance Benefit When You Don’t Have the Policy, 2016
Categories: Insurance, Life Insurance