In the UK there are many families who have created legacies through investments, property, protection policies. For the future benefit of their loved ones. In today’s post we focus on how you may be able to find a lost policy a loved one purchased to benefit their family. Currently in the UK, in excess of £2 Billion remains unclaimed.
A common theme in our posts at Life Insurance Cover is to make sure that if you put a policy in place for the future, is to tell your family about it. One of the many reasons why Life Insurance policies go unclaimed is due to a policyholder forgetting about the policy. The most common reason for a policy remaining unclaimed is when a policyholder does not tell family members about its existence.
Because family and loved ones are not told. It often leaves policy beneficiaries left questioning whether or not they may have had Life Insurance protection in place. Maybe a parent, other family member or an ex-spouse who you have lost contact through the years held a Life Insurance policy you didn’t know about?
Turning a negative situation into a positive.. Is that YES it is possible to identify if a family member or a loved one had a Life Insurance policy. Another benefit is how easy the process can be to find an unclaimed Life Insurance policy. It will need a little detective work from you to find the right insurer.
In Today’s Guide:
Can I Find Lost Life Insurance Policies For Free?
You may be wondering, how do you I find the life insurance policy of a deceased person?
By following a few simple steps in your search to potentially find a policy. Which are free to check and usually identify whether or not your loved one had Life Insurance Cover include:
Check Bank Statements: If you or a family member are dealing with the probate of an estate of a loved one. You might be able to identify any regular payments to an insurer. It is worth checking any bank statements for the previous 12 months. In some circumstances a premium can be paid annually.
Previous Employment: Contact the policyholder’s previous employer to find out if they had any Life Protection as an employee. Including a death in service benefit provided through their role.
Check Other Documents: Take the time to look at where other important documents were kept. Which may include a will, title deed and other insurance certificates. Many people choose to store these together and you may find any important Life Insurance documentation
How Do You Find Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies?
If all of the above free methods of finding a lost Life Insurance policy have failed, do not stop your search. The Unclaimed Assets Register, should be your next method of continuing your search. For a fee of £25 they complete a search on the register. For any unclaimed policies in your loved ones name. Or if you prefer to call them directly, you can call them on 0333 000 0182.
You will be asked to provide the personal details for the person that they are searching for. Also they will ask you to provide proof that you are a confirmed beneficiary for a claim payment. It is also worth noting that the personal details of a policyholder of any whole of life policies. Will not be added to the register until the persons 100th birthday. Because of this it could be worthwhile calculating the approximate date to conduct a second search at a later date. All Term Based Life Insurance policies should show on the register relatively quickly.
Has Someone Taken A Life Insurance Policy Out On You?
As detailed in our Can I Insure My Parents guide, it is very unlikely that someone would be able to take out a Life Insurance policy on you without your consent or you knowing. When choosing to arrange a Life Insurance policy on someone else’s behalf. Not only need the consent of the person, but usually requires detailed medical information directly from the policyholder.
In the very a rare occasion that someone has managed to obtain Life Insurance. On your behalf without your consent is considered to be Life Insurance fraud. Subsequently when a claim is made, a claim payment will be denied.
Should I Also Search Mutuals and Friendly Societies?
The very simple answer is a resounding Yes, because of the many different ways people protected themselves in the past. Mutuals and friendly societies were providing different forms of protection predating what is currently known as Life Insurance. An older loved one may had a savings product which offered low premiums through a Society or Mutual.
If you believe that a family member may have previously purchased protection through a Society or Mutual. You could find all the required details on the Association of Financial Mutuals website.
What Happens To Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies?
A key point to bear in mind is that there is no time limit to making a claim against a Life Insurance policy. This means that if a family member or loved one passed away many years ago. A successful claim can still be made from the insurer. The amount you would receive from a claim on a policy would remain fixed. To the same amount that a loved purchased the policy for. Which means that if a family member or loved one purchased a policy for £20,000, you will receive the full claim payment amount.
The only exception to the amount you receive relates to a whole of life policy. If a policyholder passes away prior to their 100th birthday and the insurance provider is not informed. They are entitled to deduct any unpaid monthly/annual premiums from the sum assured until the individuals 100th birthday.
Do Life Insurers Contact Named Beneficiaries?
Over the past few years, the Life Insurance industry has been heavily criticised. Because they did not make enough effort to find and ensure that policy beneficiaries are being found and informed about protection policies. Because of the criticism, many Life Insurance providers now have dedicated departments to help beneficiaries. These specialist teams search the death register regularly to identify any potential policyholders who have passed away. Also notifying the beneficiaries of the protection policies existence.
After You Have Found The Correct Insurer
Once you have completed your search for a loved one’s Life Insurance policy. Contact the insurer directly, providing them with the policy number and any other information you have. A full list of Association of British Insurers (ABI) members, complete with their contact details.
Do You Have A Life Insurance Policy?
If you currently have a Life Insurance policy or maybe looking to protect yourself shortly. Please make sure that your family, loved ones or even your solicitor are aware of the protection policy. If your personal circumstances change during the policy term, keep the beneficiary details up to date. This will make sure that your beneficiaries will not have to search for the safety net that have selflessly provided for the future.