How do you find out if someone had a life insurance policy before they died?
The death of a loved one is never a painless situation to deal with, and finding out if someone has a life insurance policy isn’t easy either. There are multiple ways of trying to find out if a policy exists.
1. Contact the MIB - The Medical Information Bureau provides a “Policy Locator Request”. The MIB is a company with one of the largest databases for life insurance policies. They aide people in searching for lost life insurance policies. Unfortunately, their records are only for the past 12 years (estimated), and policies older than that may not exist within their database. This service which they provide costs $75 and requires the original death certificate.
2. Review Financial Records – Take a look at canceled checks, checkbook records, and credit cards statements. Looking into old tax records may also help. If a policy exists, then more often than not, you will find the name of a life insurance company somewhere in there. Once you contact the company and tell them your situation, they won’t be able to give you information over the phone. Legal proof may be asked that the individual is truly death. You will also have to prove that you have the legal right to review the individual’s financial records. Unfortunately, this method is not absolute, as some insurance policies can be paid in one lump sum, or could already have been paid off years ago, leaving no recent records. It is also possible to inquire for the entire history of a credit card account, since reading recent statements might not be enough.
3. Search his things - Check the places where the person could have kept important papers at. Check the safety deposit box. There is a good chance that it could have been placed there.
4. Watch the Mail - Aside from being able to look if the premiums show up on the financial records, insurance companies will also mail out a notice to the deceased when the premiums are due. Fortunately, after multiple cycles of inactivity, the insurance company may be the one who will come looking for you–because after some time of inactivity, the company is alerted by the possibility that a claim is coming, and they start to investigate on their own.
5. Ask the Employers - There’s a chance that the company the individual worked for provided him or her with life insurance. A lot of companies provide life insurance as a benefit.
6. Hire an Investigator - Hiring an investigator will give you the option of searching every possible source of information.
There are many other options that you may explore. You may ask the individual’s lawyer, who may have knowledge about a life insurance policy. If you’re fortunate, he may even have the paperwork. Additionally, it may also be useful to ask the deceased person’s tax accountant. By some stroke of luck, you may even be able to find the paperwork folded up and in-between your loved one’s favorite book.
As you can see, without a person’s participation, it is difficult to see if that person is insured. If you have a life insurance policy on you, it would be best to tell someone you trust. It may be difficult since it reminds you of your mortality and the fact that the inevitable will come, but you have to understand that it will make things easier. Even when you are gone, you will still be able to help your loved ones.
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