No Love Lost… But What About Insurance Policies?
Life Insurance and Beneficiaries
There are millions and millions of dollars in life insurance benefits that go begging every year. In an isolated case, you can easily imagine how it happens in our world – a person takes out a policy when they’re young, fully pays on it, and over time everything else changes: people move, families change, companies are acquired by other companies, papers are lost or forgotten, beneficiaries themselves die, agents move away, other investments mean more as the years go by. Decades later, the policyholder dies and no one has any idea there was ever a life policy. Consider how easily life unfolds like that. Now consider there are over 300 million of us in America and you get a feel for why unclaimed life insurance benefits are a multi-million dollar phenomenon.
What Would A New Tool Do And How Can I Prevent A Lost Policy?
Try your best not to have you or your family be part of these statistics. But what can you do about it? Further down, we have some ideas. But we also want to call your attention to a story that piqued our interest. The State of Minnesota recently introduced a new database, that could help people track down lost policies or search for one. Any life insurance company that opts into the program can give policyholders and beneficiaries the option to input some information in the online, encrypted database. As long as the interested parties participate, the data’s protected for years to come from loss – of paper or memory.
But until that kind of service is universally available, we suggest keeping your beneficiary contact information completely up to date all the time. Keep your policies in a safe place. Let a loved one know where that secure place is. Maintain a separate record of your policies with the policy numbers and contact information (do that for bank and securities accounts too!). Keep tabs onthe agent who sold you the policy and on the carrier itself; companies merge and acquired right and left and you always want to know who your carrier is. For that very reason, call the insurance company every once in a while for a check-in; make sure you have the most recent contact information there is for the customer service department. Write it down and save it along with your important records.
What To Do
We are encouraged by the proactive method introduced by the State of Minnesota! We hope California follows the lead! In the meantime, though, maintain the best, and most comprehensive records you can and entrust your policies to safekeeping.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with life insurance in California, contact the Evans Law Firm elder attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.