It is important to keep all your life insurance records carefully, but what happens when you are the beneficiary and you have no idea where your family member kept all of their life insurance papers?
The bad news is that if a member of your family dies and you cannot find their life insurance policy, sadly there is no local or national database that you can consult. However, the good news is that you can try to determine:
- Which insurance company could have issued the open care final expense plans.
- Which agent or broker could have sold the policy.
- If the deceased could have had his insurance through an employer, association or other group to which he belonged.
To find any of these important data, we provide you with some strategies:
- Look for insurance-related documents.
Look through files, bank safes, and other storage locations to see if there are any insurance-related documents. Also check your phone book to see if the name of an insurance agent or company is listed. Sometimes the agent or company that sold the deceased your auto or homeowners insurance may know about the existence of life insurance.
- Contact your current and former financial advisers.
Call current or former attorneys, accountants, investment advisers, bankers, agents, or brokers in the insurance business who may know something about the deceased’s life insurance.
- Review life insurance applications.
When a written application is filled out for each policy, it is attached to it. So if you can’t find any of the deceased’s policies, look through the requests made for each one. They will contain a list of all other life insurance policies that the person had at the time of application.
- Contact previous employers.
Previous employers may have the record of past insurance policy or other policies issued by them, so this would be a good way to get information.
- Review checkbooks and canceled checks.
See if any checks have been made out to an insurance company in the past and recent years. Or if the name of what could be an insurer appears in the checkbook register.
- Check the mail for the next year after the insured’s death.
Check for news of premiums or dividends. If a policy has been paid, there will be no notice of pending premium payments. However, the company could still send a notice regarding the status of the policy or it could pay or send notice about a dividend.
- Review the deceased’s annual tax return for the last two years.
Look for interest income or interest costs paid to life insurance companies. Life insurance companies pay accrued interest on permanent policies and charge interest on policy loans.
- Contact all relevant state insurance departments.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners ( The National Association of Insurance Commisioners ) has a locating system companies Life Insurance, Life Insurance Company Location System , which helps you find the personnel department assured the state that could help you identify those companies that may have written life insurance for the deceased.
- Check with your state’s unclaimed property office.
If a life insurance company knows that one of its policyholders has died but cannot find the beneficiary, they must send the benefit as “unclaimed property” to the state where the policy was purchased. If you know or suspect where the policy was purchased, you can contact the state department of control to see if they have any unclaimed monies from life insurance companies belonging to the deceased.
- Contact a private service that looks for “missing life insurance.”
In exchange for payment of a fee, some private companies will contact insurers to find out if the deceased was insured. This service is often provided through web pages.
- Do you think that maybe the life insurance was bought in Canada?
If so, you can contact the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association at 1-800-268-8099.
- Test the MIB database.
This is a database of all applications for individual life insurance that were processed during the last nine years. There is a $ 75 fee per search. Most searches are unsuccessful: a random sample of searches has 1 hit out of every 5 attempts.
As you can see, it is not easy to look for a lost life insurance policy, so in life, advise your parents or relatives to leave all those papers with several copies and in a place that is easily accessible. After all, the idea of life insurance is that your beneficiaries collect the money stipulated in the policy, so why not make things easier for them?