Most life insurance policies are paid out after the insured passes away. However, there are instances where a beneficiary may be unaware of a policy’s location or that it even exists. In these instances, a policy is considered “lost.” But, it doesn’t have to stay lost. With a little detective work and a plan of action, a beneficiary or immediate family member can locate the lost life insurance policy of the deceased and make a claim.
Following the Paper Trail
Insurance policies have a paper trail. This makes the detective work a little easier. Premiums are typically paid via check or bank draft. Therefore, a solid strategy for initiating a search is to review bank statements for payments to any insurance companies. Second-tier strategies might include sorting through the mail and perusing income tax returns. This might segue smoothly into getting others involved. For example, speaking with accountants, attorneys, financial advisors and former employers could lead to discovery.
Tracking Digital Footprints
Nearly everyone has digital footprints – electronic evidence of their existence and actions. These footprints make the process of discovery much more efficient. Obvious digital footprints to look for in the search for lost life insurance policies include:
- Online banking transactions
- State insurance department databases
- State unclaimed property databases
- MIB database
The search for lost life insurance policies can be efficient and effective using these key strategies. Paper trails and digital footprints provide the evidence that leads to discovery.