Did you know there is about one billion dollars in unclaimed life insurance? You could have money that you haven’t claimed yet. There could be a number of reasons why you are the beneficiary of a life insurance policy and not know it.
Perhaps a relative passed away a number of years back and you weren’t made privy to the fact that they had a life insurance policy – but that money is waiting somewhere for you to pick up. Are you an orphan policyholder? There are a number of ways to find out, but you must put on your detective hat first. Here are 5 tips for tracking unclaimed life insurance benefits.
- Your first step is to ask the people related to the person who might have had a life insurance policy. They might be able to lead you to a life insurance company, or if the insurance company has been dissolved or went out of business, you might be able to find a subsidiary or the new company it turned into. Who knows, the policy might even be hiding in a safe in the attic of a family home.
- Look through receipts. If someone has passed away and you are curious if they had a life insurance policy, you could go through their financial records or speak with their financial institution. If they did have a life insurance policy, chances are that there is a paper trail. This can be in receipts, bank statements or even filing papers from the insurance company. If you are close to the policyholder, but not a family member, it might be harder to look into a deceased person’s financial records, so you might need a little help from the actual, living relatives.
- Speak with deceased person’s legal representative, or even an accountant. If you have trouble finding the policy and any paper trail of one, it might be that they took some extra steps to hide the policy from friends and family – for reasons that might have to do with tax liens or other fiscal discrepancies. So, you might have to ask the person’s attorney if they had a life insurance policy that the family does not know about. If the attorney can’t help, you might want to ask the person’s accountant.
- Find the website of the insurance company and call a representative to see if there is a claim. Perhaps the deceased simply forgot about the policy. To actually claim the policy you must provide a valid death certificate – just make sure to have it notarized before hand. It might even be that the deceased had a policy as part of their employment – if this is the case, you could be in line to receive a big cash reward.
- Speak to the employer. If the deceased did have an insurance policy with an employer and you didn’t receive the benefits, it might have gone to the employer. If this is the case, you want to contact the human resources department at the company and see if you can file the claim with them to receive your cash reward. With a little digging, you’ll be sure to come up with something.