Many people dream of stumbling upon an unexpected source of money, but it might become a reality if you discover an unclaimed life insurance policy. As many as 25% of all life insurance policy benefits go unclaimed. If you are willing to take the time to investigate, you may find unclaimed money that was intended to go to you.
What happens to these funds?
Because many family members are unaware that they are able to collect unclaimed life insurance policies if they are named as a beneficiary, the unclaimed funds sit first with the life insurance company and, after a period of time, are turned over to the government.
How do I start my search?
To find unclaimed life insurance policies, you must initiate the search. Look for evidence of premiums paid to life insurance companies, either via bank statements or credit card records. A safety deposit box may also contain such information. Look for documentation from an insurance company that discloses details about any life insurance policies. It's the beneficiary's job to notify an insurance company that someone is deceased, so placing a call to the company will allow them to contact the named beneficiaries on a life insurance policy.
If you find no evidence of a policy among the deceased's records, talk to the attorney or accountant for the deceased. Even a work-related policy might be uncovered via a conversation with an employer. If a policy is uncovered, you will have to provide a copy of the death certificate and possibly a notarized form to begin the process of paying out the unclaimed insurance money.
What about companies that search for policies for you?
As a final resort, many companies specialize in tracking down unclaimed insurance money. These policy locators perform research and check vital information against various companies and databases to see if there are any matches to names, social security numbers or other details. If a match is found, the policy locators pass the info on to you to follow up with the company. These companies charge a fee for their services.
But be careful. Many of these online entities claim to have access to databases of missing funds, including a national database where all agencies are required to report. This is non-existent, and you should work with reputable search companies that can facilitate an extensive search for unclaimed life insurance policies.
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