Do you know what to do about finding a lost life insurance policy? You may not think too much about this, but for many people, this is an everyday occurrence. They lose a loved one and know they carried a life insurance policy, but they can’t find it. They have no idea who the life insurance company was that wrote the policy.
This happens a lot. In fact, over one-fourth of all life insurance death benefits are never claimed. That is amazing. The policies were paid for over the years in the event of the insured’s death to protect their family and now no one has any idea where the missing life insurance policy is.
Under federal law, all death benefits that are unclaimed go into a trust until they are ever claimed. Consider that last year nearly $23 billion was put into the fund, with only $1 billion getting claimed.
What can you do in the event you know there is missing life insurance policy?
1. If you have access to their personal records, go through old bank statements or canceled checks to see if they paid any insurance companies.
2. Did they have a personal lawyer or accountant who may have known about any old policies?
3. Talk with a past employer about any group life insurance policy that may have existed.
4. Get in touch with the Medical Information Bureau. They track all requested medical records by insurance companies for the past 7 years. So, if they took out the policy during this time period, most likely the MIB will know about it. You can find more information about them online.
5. Look at the mail that continues to be delivered after the person’s death. If it was a policy that was still being paid for, you’ll see premium notices.
6. Look at income tax returns to see if interest dividends on any life policy were claimed.
There is no time limit on claiming the benefits of any missing life insurance policy that you are the beneficiary of. It can be 25 years later and the company will still pay you the proceeds.
Finding a lost life insurance policy may not be the easiest thing to do, but with patience and a little detective work, you should be able to track it down in a short period of time.
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