One of our colleagues recently lost his father.
He and his sister erroneously thought he would receive
the life insurance checks right away. But it doesn’t
work that way. First you have to receive the death certificate.
That alone could take many weeks.
Once those certificates have been received, you can submit
them to the insurance company(ies). Be aware: they hope you
will choose to leave the money with them by converting the
deceased policy into your own policy. You do not have to do
that, though getting them to accept “No” for an answer, could
take a few exchanges and thus several more weeks before you
receive the funds.
As if that weren’t daunting enough, you may not even know
that there ARE life insurance policies to which you are the
beneficiary. That’s what the article we read was focused on.
As was stated in the IBA (Insurance Business America) article,
there is no database that lists any details of all the life
insurance policies. So, unless you know there is a policy and
which insurance company is holding it, the search can be quite
cumbersome, to say the least!
“They say over 25 per cent of life insurance policies go unclaimed, it could be over 50…There are over 250 million people in the US alone with life insurance, that’s a huge number.
“In most jurisdictions insurers are not required to look for beneficiaries – the onus is on the consumer.
“All the beneficiary needs to find the policy is the name of the company the policy was bought from.
“It sounds simple but given the nature of life insurance there are a myriad of reasons the company name gets lost along the way: people can be secretive about their policies and not tell their beneficiary; documents can get lost; people forget after 40 or 50 years.
“With that and the experience with his father’s policy in mind, Mr. Hartmann created FindYourPolicy.com, a life insurance database where an individual or their agent can register for free the company name they have insurance with.
“Policy holders can enter the information for free and beneficiaries can search using either the last four digits of their government issued personal ID number or their date of birth.
““When I tell consumers they love it,” said Hartmann. “Insurance companies don’t like me too much. I’ve talked to the life insurance companies and their CEOs, and they said you service is so needed but we can’t use you because you’re going to generate too many claims. It’s bad for their bottom line. They bank on the fact that consumers don’t find it.”
What have you done to ensure that beneficiaries to your life
insurance policies can claim their monetary benefits?
Please share in the comments section below so that we can all
learn from each other!