When a loved one passes away, one crucial task is handling financial affairs and funeral arrangements. Life insurance can cover the costs of burial services. It can also reduce the stress of managing a deceased relative’s financial matters during a trying time. As of 2013, over $1 billion of life insurance policies had gone unclaimed.
Searching Financial Records:
Gather important documents. Your first step in determining whether your loved one had life insurance is to gather all documents related to their death.
- For example, get a copy of their will, if they had one, and death certificate. Some people put information about life insurance policies in their wills. These documents may also help with your search for more information.
- Often a court will decide the validity of a will and supervise the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. This is called “probating.”If your loved one’s estate has been probated, you can look at the probate records to see if the life insurance policy came up as an asset.
Look through financial papers. If you have access to your loved one’s financial papers, look through them for evidence of a life insurance policy.
- Pay close attention to any paperwork related to insurance. It is possible that you can find a life insurance policy bundled with other policies you already know about. Many people bundle life insurance with car or home insurance.
Search checking accounts for payments. Look for evidence that your loved one made premium payments. Look at bill payments, cancelled checks, and bank statements for any sign of insurance payments.
- Also check credit card statements for the past several years. Some policy holders will pay premiums with credit.
Using Online Tools:
Visit your state’s Department of Insurance. Some states have online locator tools which you can use to search for a missing life insurance policy. California, Texas, and Ohio all collect your information and then contact the life insurance companies. You provide information either through an online Lookup Tool or submit a paper application.
- For example, the California State Controller’s Office has an online Life Insurance Settlement Property Search tool. You can use it to find policies that list you as a beneficiary. The online search tool only lists beneficiaries who are or were in California.
- The search tools will ask you for the last name, first name, middle initial and city of the property holder. The search results will provide a name, address, ID number of the claim and type.
- Ohio has a form you can download and print off. The form asks for your contact information and the policy holder’s. The form must be notarized before being mailed to the Department of Insurance.
- If the state finds the policy, it should contact you and tell you where it is. Some policies will still be in the possession of the insurance company. Others may have been turned over to the state already.
Visit free websites. Websites such as missingmoney.com and unclaimed.org allow users to find their state’s unclaimed property website. If your relative died more than a few years ago, it is possible the benefits from a life insurance policy have been turned over to the state. Both websites are affiliated with the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA).
- Missingmoney.com allows you to search for unclaimed assets with a simple search tool. It asks for your first and last name and your state. It will search the state’s unclaimed property database for any property linked to your name.
- To look for a life insurance policy for a deceased loved one, put his or her first and last name into the database.
- Unclaimed.org allows you to click on your state to find your state’s unclaimed property website. Some states may require you to register before you can conduct any searches on their websites.
- Claiming property from the state is free, but you will have to provide records supporting your claim. These requirements will vary from state to state but generally include proof of your identify and the policy holder’s death certificate.
Contact major insurance providers directly. Some of the largest insurers in the United States have free Life Insurance Locator Tools for you to use at their websites. MetLife, New York Life, and Lincoln National all have tools.
- To begin, make sure you have the following information for your loved one: name, date of birth, date of death, and last known address.
- You will then enter this information into the search engine. You will also be prompted to enter your contact information so that the insurance company can get back to you after its search.
Pay a private company for a search. There are several companies that will search for a lost life insurance policy. Each of them charges different rates. The three most popular private company locators are MIB, L.L.I.F.E., and Policy Inspector.
- For $75, MIB will search the records of anyone who has applied for insurance. It has kept records for around seven years. You can click on the “Policy Locator Service” link on their website.
- The MIB response rate is around 30%. Also, there is no free option; you have to pay the $75.
- L.L.I.F.E. charges $108.50 and contacts around 400 companies.
- Policy Inspector contacts over 500 life insurance companies and charges a $99 one-time fee.
Article Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Find-Out-if-Someone-Has-a-Life-Insurance-Policy