life insurance

There are at least one billion dollars in benefits of lost or forgotten life insurance policies that are waiting to be claimed by their beneficiaries.The odds that you are one of those beneficiaries are 1 in 600, more high than the win $ 100 with a lottery ticket. And although it is unlikely to expect one jackpot of $ 1 million – the average unclaimed life insurance benefits is $2,000 – and some benefit payments have been up to $300,000.

The bulky amount is the result of the evasion of a dark death benefit.Auditors in California, Florida, New York and other States determined that insurers were using the┬áDeath Master File Social Security (Social Security’s Death Master File) to identify the owners of annuities which had died to stop making payments to them. But they were not verifying this file to identify the deceased insured and paid to your beneficiaries.

Worse still, to cease payment of premiums with the death of the insured, insurers frequently used the face value of the policies to continue deducting payments until exhausting the reserve, according to the State Comptroller of California determined it.

There are 7 large insurance – AIG, Forethought, ON, Mississauga life insurance, John Hancock, MetLife, Nationwide and Prudential – who have agreed to act more diligently to find deceased policyholders and beneficiaries. And there are other insurance companies that are under investigation.

How to find a missing policy?

Start with the basics. If a family member or close relative died several years ago, it is possible that the benefits have already been transferred to State unclaimed property office where the policy was purchased. Visit, a portal of the National Association of property managers no Reclamada (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators), to review the records of 38 States and provinces of Canada, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.“Links” (“links”) connects the low selection menu to a map and addresses of the bodies of unclaimed property.

If your name or that of a welfare potential is positive, it will have to prove the legitimacy of his claim. The required documentation may vary from one State to another, and is detailed in the claim form, and may be required to present a certificate of death. If you don’t have even that key document, contact the Bureau of vital statistics (vital records office) of the State where your relative died, or visit http:, service provider of official records of more than 400 government entities.

Contact the insurer. If you know or suspect that the policy could be issued by any insurer in particular, please contact the office of the insurance claims by phone or by Internet. Not everyone has the legal right to get answers. The greater legal protection it have the executor of the deceased and the immediate family – husband, his domestic partner, children, grandchildren, siblings, and grandparents. “But the insurance company will know, and if they determine that you are a beneficiary, they will send you a package to corroborate your identity so that you can cash out,” said Steven Weisbart, Chief Economist of the Institute of information of insurance (Insurance Information Institute), an entity of the industry. “If you are not a beneficiary, won’t they give you no information.”

While more information: date approximate birth and death, Social Security number, last State of residence, policy number, it will be better. An employee of Consumer Reports used the verification system online MetLife (see the table below) to locate two policies that their parents left. She received $4,800 – more than three times the face value of the policies thanks to the accumulated interest.

Locate personal files. If the person died recently and you have the authority to do so, check the personal files of the late looking for a policy, registration of payments of premiums or any insurance bills. Contact the employers of the deceased, trade union or mutual organization to locate policies. Locate and open safety deposit boxes. Check the mail, e-mail, banking online and services of payment of invoices in search of premium bills or notifications of dividends on policies.

Watch out for scammers. As part of an agreement with the States, insurers are increasing their efforts to locate people, but so are doing some evil-doers. The Department of financial services of Florida (Florida Department of Financial Services) warns of a so-called “Florida financial restitution Department” which is offering to reunite consumers with unclaimed property charged – input – $600. “The true agency not charge any fees, although there are private companies that legitimately analyze properties files not claimed in Exchange for a percentage, payable when they locate some property.

If you receive any notices allegedly sent by an insurance company, do not respond to the phone number or website announced in the correspondence. Instead, investigate the telephone number or address of Internet of the insurance claims Department, recommends Anna Alexopoulos, a spokeswoman for the Department of financial services of Florida (Florida Department of Financial Services).