Many people purchase life insurance policies in order to ensure that their families are financially secure after their death. This is because when the owner of a life insurance policy passes away, the beneficiaries of his or her policy receive a death benefit from the insurance company.
However, sometimes the policyholder may die prior to sharing with you where to find a copy of their policy, leaving you without enough information to file a claim. If you fail to file a claim, the death benefit will become part of unclaimed insurance funds.
Insurance companies are required to protect their clients’ privacy. In order to request information about a policy, it is likely that you will be required to provide proof of a relationship with the deceased to the insurance company.
But what if you’re unsure as to whether a family member who has passed away even had a life insurance policy? After all, if they did, you may be entitled to the benefits that they had paid into. There are a few different ways to determine if a loved one had a life insurance policy.
Search Their Personal Belongings
One way to begin to search for whether your loved one had a policy is by looking through their personal belongings. There’s a high probability that if a life insurance policy did exist, that the paperwork for it would have been saved either in a safe deposit box or somewhere else secure/protected. This includes email, so if you have access to it, it may be worth searching through their inbox for related documentation. If you wish to check their safe deposit box, you will need a key as well as proof of relation to the deceased (e.g. a marriage certificate). If you don’t have a key, the bank officers may be able to drill into the box for an additional fee, handing the life insurance documents to whomever is listed as a beneficiary.
Check with Previous Employers
You can also reach out to the deceased’s former employers or organizations of which they were a part. Life insurance policies are often offered as an included benefit or at a lower price through employers or as a member benefit of a group.
There are many websites that provide free search tools in order to assist individuals in their search for unclaimed death benefits. You can conduct a search for missing life insurance policies on these sites:
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners
- National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators
Contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance
If you still can’t find a policy for your loved one, you can get in touch with the North Carolina Department of Insurance. If you inquire about a policy and you’re authorized (by providing proof), the office will generally forward the request to North Carolina licensed agencies, which will search for a contract and try to notify the beneficiaries of it if found.
An Experienced North Carolina Life Insurance Attorney Can Help
If you have been denied life insurance benefits to which you should be entitled, you may not know what the next step should be. The experienced Life Insurance Benefit Attorneys at Daggett Shuler can help you to receive what you deserve. Let us help you to move forward. Call us at 336-724-1234 today!
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