How To Find People Who Need Life Insurance
Most people need life insurance and there are many ways to find the people who need it. Make a list of everyone you know. Call them and tell them you are selling life insurance and ask if they are in the market for additional insurance or if they need insurance. Next ask them if they know anyone who needs life insurance.
Use A State Policy Locator Service
In response to calls for easier ways to track down lost life insurance policies, some;states have created;centralized search services. Once you submit your paperwork, the following states will forward the information to all life insurers licensed there:
The insurers will search their records to see if any life insurance policies are in the name of the deceased. If so, the life insurance companies will contact you if you’re the beneficiary or deceased person’s legal representative or executor. If not, they’ll work to find the beneficiary of the policy.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is building a national policy locator app. The online tool features an interactive U.S. map. You click on the state and follow the instructions for submitting a search request. The tool, which the association says will be finished in the fall of 2016, will do one of the following:
Forward you to that state’s policy locator service, if it has one.
Forward a form you complete online to that state’s department of insurance.
Give you a phone number for that state’s department of insurance.
The state insurance department then will forward your search request to life insurance companies licensed to do business in that state. If a policy is found, then the insurer will contact you, as long as you’re legally authorized to receive the information, or it will search for the policy’s beneficiary.
What Happens To Unclaimed Life Insurance
The truth is, it just sits there and waits for a beneficiary to come along and claim it!
Theres no time limit on claiming life insurance. It doesnt need to be done during probate, and not even in the decade to come. You can claim life insurance at any time after the deceaseds passing and youll get the full amount of the payout in all cases except for some whole of life policies.
With these, if the policyholder died short of their 100th birthday without the insurer being informed, then unpaid premiums will be deducted from the final payout until the the claim .
Remember, inflation in the intervening years may not be too kind to the policy value. If a significant amount of time has passed, the real-world worth of the old policy may be minor.
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Secondary Documents And Locations
There is a variety of personal paperwork that can provide excellent hints when it comes to locating life insurance. Keep your eyes open for the following items:;
- Bank statements: You may see monthly or annual premium payments being deducted for the life insurance protection.;
- Tax returns: Look for interest earned or dividends paid out. This will occur if your loved one has a whole life policy with a cash value component.;
- Safety deposit boxes: Check the deceaseds bank for a safety deposit box that may hold significant documents like life insurance.;
- Home or office filing cabinets: If your family member was still working, perhaps youll find more life insurance clues within their office effects. You can also look through the deceaseds home filing cabinets for policy paperwork.;
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How Do You Initiate Payout On A Life Insurance Policy
If a family member with life insurance coverage passes away, and you’ve been named a beneficiary, you’ll want to start the payout process. To do so, you’ll need copies of two documents:
- The life insurance policy
- The insured’s death certificate
You can typically request a death certificate through the county coroner’s office or the mortuary that handled the burial. In most states, you’ll need to show a valid photo ID before you can get a copy of the death certificate. You may also need to prove your relationship to the deceased.
Check with the issuer of the life insurance policy for any additional instructions.
What Is Unclaimed Life Insurance
A life insurance policy is unclaimed when the insured person passes away and the named beneficiary doesnt claim the benefit from the policy.
There are billions of dollars of unclaimed life insurance money in the U.S. Many family members are unaware that their loved ones held a life insurance policy and are oblivious beneficiaries.
If a loved one has passed and you are the beneficiary, you can find out if there is unclaimed money or unclaimed property by performing a search at a free website called MissingMoney.com. The site allows you to scan a single state or all states that participate. If you need to continue your search, you may opt for other options, such as looking through your loved ones financial files, checking with other online services, or contacting previous employers or unions. Below well cover the specifics of how to go about your search.
But first, lets cover if you could you be owed a life insurance payout.
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Call The Insurance Company
If you think your family member had a policy with a particular company, call and ask. If the company has merged with another insurer or changed its name, you can probably get help from your state’s insurance department. You might also find help on the company’s website; MetLife, for instance, has an online search feature.
How To Find Out If Youre A Beneficiary
Itâs not uncommon for people tohave no idea theyâre the beneficiary of someoneâs life insurance policy. Policy terms can last for decades, and beneficiary designations can change over the course of someoneâs life. If a loved one died and youâre unsure who their beneficiaries were or if they even had a life insurance policy, itâs worth doing a thorough search to ensure youâre not leaving a policy unclaimed.
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Who Can Request Life Insurance Information
Only policyholders and beneficiaries can request life insurance information.
Even if you have all the necessary information to access the policy, life insurance companies wont issue a check unless youre listed as the beneficiary.
If the policyholder is still living, youll have to ask for permission to be added to the list of beneficiaries on their life insurance policy.
Why Life Benefits Go Unclaimed
Life insurance proceeds can go unclaimed for a few reasons. Sometimes beneficiaries dont know they’re named on the policy, or that one even exists. They may have moved from the address listed on the contract, so the insurer can’t locate them. They may not know how to file a claim if the insurer goes out of business and transfers its policies to another without notifying beneficiaries.
The insurer may lose contact, ending the paper trail, if the policyholder moves and doesn’t submit a change of address. In some cases, the insurer doesnt know they’ve died because no one sends a death notice.
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Use A Policy Locator Service
You can also use a policy locator service such as the Medical Information Bureau or the Policy Inspector Service.; MIB.com provides you information about the MIB, and a portion of the website is dedicated to locating lost policies.; The MIB is a nonprofit member-owned corporation that was created to share underwriting and applicant information across its members, which are comprised of life insurance companies.; It has become a broad information sharing system across life insurance companies, that help companies assess risk and price life insurance appropriately.; Because so many life insurance companies are members, the lost policy locator is effective because the MIB can search across its entire database.; The database contains almost every policy in the United States.; Chances are good that they will locate your policy.; It does cost $75.
Policy Inspector is a private company that will contact life insurance companies looking for a policy on your behalf.; ;They have relationships with over 500 life insurance companies, who they can go out to and attempt to locate a policy.; Policy Inspector charges $99 for a search, per policy.
Pay For A Search Of The Mib Database
The MIB is a cooperative database created by life insurance companies to keep track of insurance applications. I wouldnt recommend doing this first, but if youre pretty certain theres an insurance policy out there that belongs to you, you can pay a $75 fee for a search, says Weisbart.
Meanwhile, once you find the insurance company, contact them to see if the policy is still active. If it is, the insurer has steps you can follow to file a claim. Its vital to follow these directions closely as doing so reduces the chances of your claim being denied or delayed.
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How To Find A Lost Life Insurance Policy
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If you cant find the life insurance policy of a deceased relative, you’ve probably checked the obvious places desk drawers, file cabinets, maybe even under the mattress.
Now it’s time to broaden the search. You’ll need to locate the name of the company that issued the policy in order to make a life insurance claim.;Here are ways to find;it.
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- You can find out if someone has life insurance through insurance documents, bank statements, tax returns, or other documents
- Its important for life insurance policyholders to provide beneficiaries with policy details to be sure the death benefit is claimed
- Life insurance policies are not public so it could be difficult to track the policy of a deceased family member
Wondering how to find out if someone has life insurance? Locating a relatives life insurance policy is possible even if they didnt happen to provide you the term vs. permanent life insurance details beforehand.
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How To Find Out If A Deceased Person Had Life Insurance: Step
Youve probably never talked with your beloved parent or grandparent about their life insurance coverage. Its not the most pleasant conversation and can make some people downright uncomfortable. You arent alone if you would rather chat with those closest to you about sports or the weather rather than about life insurance.;
Jump ahead to these sections:
However, avoiding this type of serious talk could mean youre unaware of any active life insurance policies when the time comes, or you may be confused about where to begin hunting for life coverage when you need to.;
Now that you need to do some digging, you may want to check out our step-by-step guide that explores how to figure out if a deceased person had life insurance.;
Does Your Living Relative Have Life Insurance
Though the best way to figure out if your relative has coverage is to ask him or her, there are some situations where its not an option. For example, if your loved one lives with dementia or mental illness, he or she may not be able to tell you the status of his or her coverage. The same may be true if your relative has been injured in a sudden accident or unforeseen medical emergency. If you need to know if your living relative has life insurance, you should follow the same steps listed above.
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Locate A Life Insurance Policy
If you suspect that a loved one had a life policy, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has created a Life Insurance Policy Locator service to help consumers locate benefits from life insurance policies or annuity contracts purchased anywhere in the United States.; The companies will search their records to determine whether they have life policies or annuity contracts and will contact you directly only if they find a policy in the name of the deceased and you are the designated beneficiary or authorized legal representative. This service is free of charge. Prior to utilizing this service, you are required to conduct a diligent search of the deceased person’s records.
The following tips may assist you in your search:
If you find a life insurance policy for a deceased relative but cannot locate the company, you can call our Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 or check the Company Profile on our Website to obtain address and phone contact information.
Contact State Insurance Departments
Twenty-nine state insurance departments offer free search services to residents looking for lost policies.;The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a Life Insurance Company Location System to help you find state insurance department officials who can help to identify companies that might have written life insurance on the deceased. To access that service, go to the NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator.
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Wondering If You Have An Unclaimed Life Insurance Payout
A 2016 CBS “60 Minutes” report revealed that audits of the largest U.S. life insurers led 25 carriers to dole out over $7.5 billion in unpaid benefits. Before that, a 2011 audit ordered by the Texas Comptrollers Unclaimed Property Division uncovered over $178 million worth of unpaid proceeds due to Texans.
There are steps you can take to find a lost policy and obtain its benefits if you believe you may be the beneficiary.
Wait For Death Claim Processing
Once youve submitted the death claim, theres not much more for you to do. Life insurance payouts usually take anywhere from one week to 60 days. ;
There are legitimate reasons why your death claim may drag on longer than anticipated. For instance, any of these scenarios could cause delays:;
- The insurer may have a claim backlog.;
- The manner of death could complicate the claim process .;
- The insurer may no longer be in business.;
- There may be a beneficiary dispute.
The best thing you can do to avoid a claim delay is to be accurate with the information you submit to the life insurance company. Also, always be sure to send the carrier an original, certified death certificate, not just a copy.;
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Talk To Bankers Financial Advisors Or Insurers
Although privacy regulations may govern how much a banking official can tell you about the deceaseds finances , you may be able to glean some information from them. It may pay to talk to the deceaseds financial advisor or accountant, or even their regular insurance agent.
If you are executor or next of kin, you may have access to safety deposit boxes or other private storage areas that could yield important information. If youre not in a position to access them, see if you can get permission from those in the deceaseds inner circle who may be able to get to them.
What Happens If No One Claims Death Benefits From A Life Insurance Claim
The fact that somebody is to receive payment from a life insurance policy is a given in how the process works. But what if no tone claims death benefits from a life insurance claim?
The life insurance company moves the money to your states unclaimed property and money department. The life insurance death benefits will remain there until someone legally claims it.
If youre not a named beneficiary, you wont be able to claim the death benefits.
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