Friday, December 16, 2016

Life Insurance Benefits You May Not Know Of

Families today are scattered like never before. Education, work, marriage and a range of other factors mean that relatives now live not just across the country, but across the globe. While they usually try to keep in touch as much as possible, details of how life is lived, including financial issues, are often lost. This includes insurance benefits. Many people wonder if there are insurance benefits that may be due to them which they are unaware of. Or they may think that they could be beneficiaries of a policy, but do not know how to find out. According to Consumer Reports, an estimated $1 billion in benefits from life insurance policies are lying unclaimed. One reason for this is that locating possible insurance policies in which a person is a beneficiary used to be very time consuming and difficult. The number of insurance companies, the place where the policy was issued and the confidentiality and other restrictions on releasing the information made the search frustrating and legitimate benefits were often not found.

There Is Now A Way to Find Out

A recent press release by the California Department of Insurance says that there is now an online tool available that can help people search for possible life insurance or annuity proceeds that may be due to them. The search covers the entire nation. The tool has been created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and has been specifically developed to help those who think they, or others in the family, are beneficiaries of a policy but do not have the details, such as the name of the insurer or the policy number, that will help them to get the information they need.

Requests for information are encrypted to ensure confidentiality.When the tool is used to request information on possible unclaimed benefits, the insurance companies will search through policy holder information and if possible matches are located, report these to the relevant state insurance departments. The companies will then get in touch with the beneficiaries to determine the validity of the claims and process them accordingly. There is no charge for using the tool.

The Benefits Are Yours – Claim Them

There is often hesitation in searching for life insurance benefits. People feel that searching for money in the estate of a deceased person is questionable and self-serving. What should be remembered is that the policy was created with specific aims in mind and if these are not fulfilled, in terms of giving the beneficiaries their rightful proceeds, the purpose of the policy and the wishes of the person who had it are not being respected. Unclaimed insurance benefits remain in limbo and do not do anyone any good.

If you want to know more about the tool and how to use it, visit the California Department of Insurance website. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your insurance broker and ask for guidance on how to proceed.

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