It’s unfortunately a scenario that is all too common. Your client unexpectedly loses her father and remembers that he had purchased a life insurance policy a number of years ago. But she can’t find it. Her father never told her the name of the insurer. He was old-school preferring to conduct business transactions by paper, so she knew there would not be any electronic records. She comes to you asking if there is anything you can do to help her locate the policy.
Each year, millions of dollars in life insurance benefits go unclaimed by beneficiaries who can’t find their loved ones’ policies or didn’t even know they existed.
As life insurance agents, your clients turn to you for advice. While most of your guidance revolves around coverage options and policy questions, when your client is dealing with the painful experience of losing a loved one, many reach out to their agents with questions about submitting claims on policies they don’t have.
In an ideal scenario your client knows the name of the company that issued the policy or the agent or broker that sold it. But sometimes this information is hard to find — especially if the person passes unexpectedly without their affairs in order. In other scenarios, the policies were purchased long ago and the agent or company has changed.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has a tool that can help you assist your client in their time of need. The Life Insurance Policy Locator tool was developed in 2016, and since that time, has helped consumers claim more than $765 million in benefits. It’s free to use, available online and gives everyone in the United States access to insurer databases making it easier to find policies and annuities.