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TheStreet Open House

How To Find Lost Life Insurance Policies





It's a problem you don't want to have: A relative dies and you have no idea which company holds his or her life insurance policy. Where do you begin? And if you can't find the life insurance policy right away, can you still collect the death benefit in the future?

Hope they paid their life insurance bills

Tips for making sure your beneficiaries get your death benefit

First and foremost, give your beneficiaries your life insurance policy information! You may feel like this is an awkward conversation, but letting beneficiaries know where you keep the policy, or giving them a copy, ensures they can claim the death benefit for which you've been paying.

Life insurance buyers' main reason for wanting to keep life insurance "secret" is because they don't want to start quarrels among family members over who receives what.  

Keep all your financial records (especially your life insurance policies) in one place. You don't want your family to have to conduct a massive search for your policy information and other crucial records.

If you're a beneficiary to a life insurance policy and you have located the paperwork, first check to see if the policy was a term life insurance or a permanent life insurance policy. If it was a term life insurance policy, you'll receive the death benefit if the insured person passed away before the term ended. If the policy expired before the date of death, you don't have a claim.

If the person had a permanent life insurance policy, you'll receive the money if he or she died while the policy was "in force," meaning the premium payments had been made up until the death.

If it takes you a while to find the life insurance policy, you'll receive the benefit plus interest from the date of death.

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