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 United States. According to a Consumer Reports study, 1 in 600 people are the beneficiary of an unclaimed life insurance policy with an average profit 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.
Search in his recordings: Check your dad’s financial records or areas where he kept important policy papers, premium payment records, or insurer 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 premium invoices or lifetime dividend notices, and review old tax returns, looking for interest income and interest charges paid to insurance companies. -life.
Acquire help: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers a policy locator service (see http://NAIC.org and click on “Consumer” then “Life Insurance Policy Locator”) that allows you to perform a national policy search. insurance or annuities in the names. of deceased people. There are also six state insurance departments (Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon) that offer free policy locator service programs that can help you search. To find direct access to these state resources, visit the American Council of Life Insurers website at http://ACLI.com – click on “Missing Policy Tips”.
Contact the insurer: If you believe that a particular insurer has purchased 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 them. 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 JohnHancock.com – click on “Lost or Unclaimed Policy Form” at the bottom of the page under “Quick Links”.
Search for unclaimed property: If your father passed away more than a few years ago, the benefits may have already been remitted to the unclaimed property office in the state where the policy was purchased. Visit MissingMoney.com, a website for the National Association of Unclaimed Property Managers, to search for records from 39 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Or, to find links to each state’s unclaimed property division, use http://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 by state, is detailed in the claim forms, and a death certificate may be required.
Find paid services: There are several companies that 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 on MIB.com for $ 75. But it only tracks individual policy requests made since 1996.
Send your questions to seniors to: Savvy Senior, PO Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of the book “The Savvy Senior”.