What can you do to protect your dependents, from facing financial instability, in case of your early demise? A life insurance policy comes as a good option, as it is cheap, easily obtainable, and can be customized to individual needs. Life insurance policy is a guarantee to pay a specific sum of money, to a beneficiary upon the death of the insured.
In case, the insured outlives the maturity period of the insurance policy, the insured is guaranteed a fixed amount, which is paid to him when the policy matures. A life insurance policy is taken by a policyholder, to protect the policy holder’s dependents, from facing financial debts after his or her death.
Lost Life Insurance Policy
This may sound absurd, but the case of searching for a missing life insurance policy, is not uncommon. The policy holder, sometimes fails to inform the beneficiary, about the existence of the policy. They usually keep it confidential from the beneficiary, till after the policy holder’s death. Insurance companies are ethically bound to distribute the insurance, as and when its due, to the beneficiaries. But they are helpless, as the responsibility to claim the benefits lies with the beneficiary, and without any knowledge of the policy, a beneficiary will not be able to file a claim. Until, a claim is filed with the insurance company, the company will never distribute the benefit. The life insurance policy thus remains unclaimed.
Recovering a Missing Life Insurance Policy
The benefits from a life insurance policy could make a big difference, to the financial status of the beneficiary. Without a common database of all the insurance companies, statewide or nationwide, it becomes very difficult to find a life insurance policy that is lost. There is no specific process or a product that guides you as to how to locate a life insurance policy. But with a little patience and hard work, you can always try. The claim can even be made even years later, whenever you come by the information about the policy. The following sources can help with your inquiries, in reference to finding a life insurance policy that’s lost.
They are as follows:
- Personal records: Personal records should be checked very thoroughly, as we might find a record, a copy, a contract or even an old policy, that could lead to any information regarding the policy. We might also find a bill or receipts of payments made towards the same.
- Legal representatives: Legal representatives, such as lawyers or accountants should be contacted, as they might possess information related to investments made by the deceased, including any insurance policy. We can always check up with them, whether they were ever conferred upon in matters concerned with the policy.
- Banking records and safe deposits: Past banking records should be checked, for any payments made towards premiums, or any other payments related to the policy. We can also check, if the deceased may have had any safe deposit vaults, wherein he or she might have stored any document or proof related to the policy.
- Credit card companies: Credit card companies should be checked to see whether the person may have made any credit payments, relating to any insurance policy such as opening fee, premium or any back dated payments.
- Previous employers: Previous employers should be contacted, to know if the person was a part of any group insurance plan or scheme. We can also check if the policy holder’s previous employer may have underwritten or have been a witness to any of the policy plans.
- Professional acquaintances: Professional acquaintances should be contacted, on the chance that the policy holder may have spent majority of time with them, during which he might have discussed his investments, including insurance policies. We can also check with them about insurance companies or financial brokers who might have acted on behalf of the policy holder.
- Income tax returns: Income tax returns should be checked for any tax deduction, or any returns availed, on any of the policy holder’s investments. We can also check whether the returns were filed, and if there was any mention of other facilities related to the insurance policy in the tax filings.
- Insurance companies: Insurance companies that had taken out old policies can be contacted, to check if any new policy was started. We can also check if any other insurance policy has been taken out with the old policy, as reference.
- Personal friends and neighbors: Personal friends and neighbors can always be queried whether they remember the deceased mention any insurance policy or investments.
- Travel agents, airlines, cruises: In cases, where the person’s death has occurred while traveling, the travel agents, the airlines or the shipping company, should be approached in order to check if the person was eligible for insurance applicable to travelers.
Checking these sources will help us in finding a deceased person’s life insurance policy. Though, it might take a very long time; chances are we will be able to find out if the deceased left behind security in the form of an insurance policy for our benefit. A life insurance policy can always be claimed anytime, as insurance companies are liable to pay, if the death of the insured took place, when the term of the policy was still in effect.