Were you told by a loved one that you were a beneficiary of their life insurance policy? If they passed away and didn’t leave behind policy details, how do you find the policy number and value of the benefits?
Anchor In early 2013, Consumer Reports estimated that over $1 billion remains in unclaimed insurance benefits. It is the beneficiary’s responsibility to locate benefits due in their name. Finding a life insurance policy for an individual who believes to be named as a beneficiary involves several areas of research.
For life insurance beneficiary information in North Carolina, the State Department of Insurance offers resources. If you think the policy was purchased out-of-state, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators can direct surviving beneficiaries to each state’s respective department. Also on a national level, MIB Group, a non-for-profit underwriter, provides reporting services for executors. These reports find lost life insurance policies for beneficiaries.
Helpful pieces of information (which may not always be available) would include a copy of an old policy, knowing in which state the policy was issued, and the decedent’s Social Security number. Also, the decedent may have obtained a policy through their employer. Simple calls to their former employers’ human resources departments may reduce search time.
In addition to unclaimed life insurance benefits, other unclaimed assets like stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and safety deposit box contents can be searched for on the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer site. If assets remain unclaimed for more than two years, they are legally required to be turned over to the state and will be searchable in this database.
If an individual faces the opposite situation—a valid life insurance policy with a lost or missing beneficiary—learn about heir search firms that help find surviving heirs.