For anyone supporting a spouse, family or aging parents, life insurance represents a vital purchase loved ones can depend on.
With the right policy bought, signed and stored safely away, collecting on the contract following death simply requires the beneficiary-or caretaker of the proceeds--to provide the insurance company a copy of the loved one's death certificate.
life insurance bills
If you're a beneficiary to a life insurance policy and you have located the paperwork, first check to see if the policy was a term life insurance or a permanent life insurance policy. If it was a term life insurance policy, you'll receive the death benefit if the insured person passed away before the term ended. If the policy expired before the date of death, you don't have a claim.
Insurance companies routinely take steps to find out why a policyholder has stopped making payments
Insurance companies routinely take steps to find out why a policyholder has stopped making payments, including sending letters to the last known address. But if a beneficiary never steps forward, the unfortunate outcome is that someone has paid for a life insurance policy that never benefits his loved ones.
In rare cases, when a beneficiary cannot be located over the course of a few years and the insurance company knows the insured person has died, the death benefit may be ultimately turned over to the state, where it becomes "unclaimed property" and waits to be found. However, life insurance companies generally have no way of knowing when an insured person has passed away. You can contact the state's comptroller department to see if it has any unclaimed money from life insurance policies belonging to the deceased.
You can also get help at places that assist with unclaimed property.
Life Insurance Company Location System
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a "Life Insurance Company Location System" to help you find state insurance department personnel who might help identify companies that might have written life insurance on the deceased.
Check with the state's unclaimed property office. -If a life insurance company knows that an insured client has died but can't find the beneficiary, the death benefit would have to be escheated to the state of last known address of owner or to the state in which the policy was bought as "unclaimed property."
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (unclaimed.org) - NAUPA is the association of the state unclaimed property programs, but the databases are located and maintained by each state, not NAUPA. However, most states participate in MissingMoney and we suggest that you search there
The Center for Life Insurance Disputes - contact this group and you can do a lost life insurance policy search through their website.
researchers at the American Association for Justice (AAJ)
To identify the worst insurance companies for consumers, researchers at the American Association for Justice (AAJ) undertook a comprehensive investigation of thousands of court documents, SEC and FBI records, state insurance department investigations and complaints, news accounts from across the country, and the testimony and depositions of former insurance agents and adjusters. Our final list includes companies across a range of different insurance fields, including homeowners and auto insurers, health insurers, life insurers, and disability insurers.
Additional resources provided by the author
Howard Roitman, Esq.
8921 W. Shara Ave
Las Vegas, Nevada 89117