Dear wise elder,
When my father passed away, we thought he had a life insurance policy, but we don’t know how to find it. No suggestion?
Lost or forgotten life insurance policies are very common in the we According to a Consumer Reports study, 1 in 600 people are the beneficiary of an unclaimed life insurance policy with an average benefit of $ 2,000. It could be like finding out that you have a secret savings account.
While there is unfortunately no national database to track these policies, there are a number of strategies and some new resources that can help you with your research. Here are several to get you started.
Look up his records: Check your father’s financial records or areas where he kept his important documents for a policy, premium payment statements or an insurer’s bills. Also contact her employer or former benefits administrator, insurance agents, financial planner, accountant, lawyer or other advisor and ask if they know of a life insurance policy. Also check safes, watch mail for bonus invoices or lifetime dividend notices, and examine old tax returns, looking for interest income and interest charges paid to companies. life insurance.
Get help: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a font localization service (see NAIC.org and click on “Consumer” then on “Life Insurance Policy Locator”) which allows you to launch a national search for insurance policies or annuities on behalf of the deceased. There are also six state insurance departments (Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina and Oregon) who have free policy locator service programs that can help you search. To find direct access to these state resources, visit American Council of Life Insurers website at ACLI.com – click on “Missing political advice”.
Contact the insurer: If you believe a particular insurer has underwritten the policy, contact that insurer’s claims office and ask. The more information you have, such as your father’s date of birth and death, Social Security number and address, the easier it will be to find. Contact details for some large insurers include: Prudential 800-778-2255; MetLife Metlife.com/policyfinder; AIG 800-888-2452; Nationwide 800-848-6331; John hancock John Hancock.com – click on “Lost or unclaimed policy form” at the bottom of the page under “Quick links”.
Finding Unclaimed Property: If your father passed away more than a few years ago, benefits may have already been remitted to the unclaimed property office in the state where the policy was purchased. Go to MissingMoney.com, a website of the National Association of Administrators of Unclaimed Property, to search for records from 39 states, Porto Rico, and the District of Colombia. Or, to find links to using each state’s unclaimed property division Unclaimed.org.
If your father’s name or the name of a potential benefactor produces success, you will need to prove your claim. The required documentation, which may vary from state to state, is detailed in the claim forms and a death certificate may be required.
Finding Paid Services: Several companies offer policy locator services for a fee. The MIB Group, for example, which is a data sharing service for life and health insurance companies, offers a policy locator service at MIB.com for $ 75. But it only tracks individual policy requests made since 1996.
You can also get help from Policy Inspector (PolicyInspector.com) for $ 99, and L-VIE (LostLifeIns.com) for $ 108.50, who will do the research for you.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, PO Box 5443, Normand, okay 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of the book “The Savvy Senior”.