Our blog title this week, Life Insurance Policy Locator Service, may catch you off guard. You might wonder why you or anyone could need this service. After all, you planned appropriately, you worked with your insurance agent, you found solutions, you purchased your life insurance policy, you paid your premiums timely by mail or by using an app, and you tucked your policy away in a safe place. But, did you ever tell your designated beneficiaries that the policy exists?
That’s right. It might surprise you to learn that many people are not aware that they have been named as a beneficiary. Or, even if they are aware, they do not know where to locate the policy in question or how to proceed. In February 2013, Consumer Reports offered:
“At least $1 billion in benefits from misplaced or forgotten life-insurance policies are waiting to be claimed by their owners. The odds that you’re one of them are 1 in 600, more favorable than your chance of winning $100 on a Powerball ticket. And although you can’t expect a million-dollar jackpot—the average unclaimed life benefit is $2,000—some payouts have been as high as $300,000.”
National Association of Insurance Commissioners weighs in…
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) was created in 1871 by state insurance regulators. They saw a need to coordinate the regulations of multi-state insurers. Now all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U. S. Territories are part of NAIC: “Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the U.S.”
In August 2016, NAIC announced the launch of their Life Insurance Policy Locator Service application. They noted this app, including frequently asked questions, is designed to help those who may be a life insurance beneficiary to find lost or forgotten policies.
Let’s see how the State of Tennessee is using the app
Our John Bailey Insurance Agency was founded in 1946, and in keeping with our principles of integrity and care, today we want our clients and readers to understand how our state is enabling beneficiaries to find life insurance policies of their deceased family members or associates. Here we are providing news articles that tell the story.
- “Tennessee has some unclaimed money it want to return to rightful owners – – $725 million worth” – Times Free Press, November 10, 2015
- “Tennessee Treasury Department returned $40 Million in Unclaimed Property; $725 Million still waiting to be claimed in Tennessee” – Tennessee Department of Treasury, November 10, 2015
- “Lost Policy Service Helps Tennesseans Recover $1.6M in Life Insurance Benefits” – Clarksville Online, July 21, 2017
- “Lost Policy Service Helps Recovery Nearly $3M in Life Insurance Benefits” – Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance, November 29, 2017
- “How to search for unclaimed life insurance benefits” – Chattanooga Times Free Press, December 17, 2017
- “Tennessee Returns $6.5M in Restitution to Insurance Consumer in 2017” – Insurance Journal, December 22, 2017
- “Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance reports $9.4M repaid to Tennesseans in 2017” – Clarksville Online, December 26, 2017
Some final thoughts…
Preparing for the unexpected can go a long way in planning for your family’s future and building a strong financial foundation. Our John Bailey Insurance Company team can assist you in providing protection against life’s uncertainties. The State of Tennessee Department of Treasury has an Unclaimed Property Division and the NAIC stands ready to assist you with their Life Insurance Policy Locator Service.