In addition to the national solution, several states have long offered free locator services through their insurance departments.
These state-specific locator services only apply to policies purchased in these participating states:. If you run into any problems, your best bet is to contact your state insurance department and ask about the process you need to go through. All insurance is regulated at the state level. Insurers subscribe to databases that tell them when policyholders die.
The period after which an insurer has to surrender unclaimed benefits to the state varies by state. To avoid the hassle of making your beneficiaries search for your policy after death, the NAIC recommends the following:. Get answers to your money questions delivered to your inbox daily!
This is one of the simplest ways to find a policy. Search monthly transactions for any clues about which insurance company to contact.
To streamline the process, the beneficiary should be the one to file the claim. In that case, bank records may not help and you might need to dig a little deeper.
Unlike term life, which offers coverage for a specific period of time, a whole life policy offers coverage for as long as the policyholder lives, and it usually includes a cash value component that often involves monitoring and management from a professional. As a result, the policyholder may have worked with a financial advisor or lawyer to manage their assets.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in the past 2 years, 24, consumers have been able to locate and claim more than $ million in life insurance benefits. How do you know if you are a named beneficiary entitled to a death benefit and how do you. Locating life insurance documents for a deceased relative can be a daunting task —for one thing, as of this moment there are no national databases of all life.
Even if you can find no record of a life insurance policy in personal financial records, there are still several factors working in your favor. One of them is the insurance company itself.
Our parent company, MassMutual, does. This is because varying state interest rates accrue the longer the claim remains unpaid. In such cases, the insurance company transfers the payout to the state where the policy was issued. The bureau offers online tools to track down a lost policy if it is medically underwritten, which is the type many term and permanent life insurance buyers have. There are few times in life that are more heartbreaking or stressful than the death of a loved one.
As with any other important financial documents and logins, you should keep life insurance policy and company information in a central, secure and organized location for your partner or beneficiaries. Some prefer the pen-and-paper approach by writing down account numbers and storing policy documents in an office folder for safekeeping.
Others use digital folders to maintain and store up-to-date passwords and policy forms. And, remember to update your information at least every year.
Creating a living will or an estate plan is another way to help guide your survivors to locating your assets as efficiently as possible. Get in touch with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning to start this process.
These documents address important affairs when you die and specify who can make financial and medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make them for yourself. Typically, you do not want to rely on the laws of your home state to make these decisions for you.
A death in the immediate family creates a chaotic environment, especially if the death was unexpected.