Life insurance proceeds are most commonly used to replace lost wages from a deceased loved one. Some proceeds may be used to pay off outstanding debts so that the family can live more comfortably on a single income. In other cases, the proceeds may be used to pay for a surviving family member’s college education, retirement plans and more. If a loved one has recently passed away, you may be wondering how you can find his or her life insurance policy so that you can claim the funds that you may rightfully be entitled to. While this process can seem complicated at first glance, there are some easy steps you can follow to locate the policy information you are looking for.
Monitor the Individual’s Mailbox
Most insurance companies mail regular statements to insured parties regarding the status of their policy. These may be annual statements in some cases, so be prepared to check the mailbox for up to 12 months. In some cases, these statements may be emailed. Therefore, you may also need to monitor his or her inbox or check through the inbox or deleted history for all email accounts. If the individual has a filing cabinet, you may be able to find some of these old life insurance statements filed away in the cabinet.
Look at Bank Statements
Most people who have life insurance are still paying regular premiums at the time of death. In fact, most policies will be canceled if the premiums are not paid regularly. You can check through the individual’s bank statements to look for a premium payment to a life insurance company. Some payments may be paid monthly, but others may be paid quarterly or annually. Therefore, look at a full 12-month history of bank statements. Remember that many individuals have hard copies of their bank statements on file in a filing cabinet, or you can download account activity by accessing their bank account online.
Reach Out to Employers
Some individuals obtain life insurance benefits through an employer. Therefore, reach out to the current employer to determine if a life insurance policy has been purchased by the deceased. You may also contact previous employers for additional information about current insurance policies. However, many of these work-related policies will cease when the individual no longer works there.
Contact Top Insurance Companies
If you have not been able to locate policy information by taking these steps, you can also contact major life insurance companies to make a direct inquiry. There are many major players in this industry, so this can take ample time. In fact, you may need to call six or eight companies before you get a positive response. However, in some cases, this is the fastest way to find an active life insurance policy.
Look at Unclaimed Property Websites
If more than 12 months has elapsed since your loved one has passed away, there is a good chance that the policy is listed on your state’s unclaimed property website. Each state has a department that gathers information about unclaimed assets, and this includes unclaimed life insurance benefits. Companies are required to report unclaimed assets to the right department after 12 months of no activity on the account. These websites usually have easy searchability. Remember to look at the state's website where the individual's mailin address was.
Search the Database
When these various efforts have failed, you have one final option available to consider. The MIB is a national database that records details of all life insurance policies that have been purchased over the years. This is an exhaustive database that you can search as needed, and you can rest assured that all life insurance policies are listed here. However, there is a $75 fee for this service. Because of this, you may want to explore these other ideas to find a life insurance policy first.
Your family may urgently need to locate life insurance proceeds, if any are available. It is understandable that you may be financially strapped for cash after a wage earner in your family passes away. Each of these options provides you with an exceptional way to obtain information about a life insurance policy that your loved one may have purchased.
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