Wondering if there is a lost life insurance policy on a loved one who recently passed away?
The private nature of life insurance and estate planning can make it difficult to determine if someone had a life insurance policy. Of course, the beneficiary of any life policy should be told by the policy owner that such a policy exists and with what company. This doesn't always happen and that is why the question comes up!
People often ask insurance professionals for advice and help in finding out if there was a long lost life insurance policy on a deceased loved one. The following list of tips might be useful to you.
How to Find A Life Insurance Policy
- Check the banking records for any evidence of insurance premiums paid. Look back a year or more if possible. Contact any insurer on the banking records.
- Contact their employer and any other known employers to see if there is any group life insurance or if there was any group life insurance that was converted to an individually owned policy
- Check credit cards or other loans. There might have been some creditor life insurance - that coverage would be limited. But better than nothing.
- The home and auto insurance agent (or broker) may have sold him life insurance. Or at least recorded where a policy exists
- Other advisors such as investment reps, accountants or lawyers may have recorded this information.
- Look for old insurance quotation proposals and contact the advisor listed, if any.
- Family and Friends - ask around
- The MIB is also a source of information. Visit www.mib.com If your loved one applied for life insurance MIB may have a record of to whom he/she applied.
- Check their mail for a full year after death - insurers have to send mail at least once per year. This assumes they have the correct address
- Contact all relevant Provincial insurance departments.
- Even if there is no premiums being paid, the policy could be paid up, so don't give up.
I do hope that helps to find a lost life insurance policy!
What can you do to help your beneficiaries and estate find your policies when the time comes?
- One of the reasons for naming a beneficiary on a life policy is to keep the designation private. But for goodness sake, do notify the beneficiary that they are the beneficiary and provide the company and policy number and the name of your financial advisor. If you have a lawyer, accountant, or financial advisor, make sure you are in touch annually and advise them of your wishes.
- Provide a letter of direction for information about your last wishes and location of important documents. (e.g. will, safety deposit boxes, insurance policies, credit card documentation including creditor insurance. Estate plans, if any; Names of people that should be contacted, friends, advisors, not normally known by close relatives). Advise relatives where the letter of direction could be found. Note you can record on video your letter of direction.~