Unclaimed Life Insurance Policy Search

It is the responsibility of beneficiaries to notify the life insurance company when a policy owner dies. One-in-four life insurance policies go unpaid on death of the insured, because family members aren’t aware a policy exists, or don’t know which company issued it. As a result, life insurers are holding billions of dollars in unpaid benefits. 

What happens to unclaimed life insurance payouts depends on what type of policy was issued, and whether or not it was paid-up and in force at the time of death. Polices can be in force even if the payment of premiums has stopped, or if money was borrowed against it. Even cancelled polices can have residual value, and benefit payments of up to $300,000 are possible from state insurance guaranty associations for companies that have gone out of business.

When missing heirs neglect to claim life policy benefits after death of the insured, by statute, payments are held in trust until claimants come forward. But little effort is made to locate lost heirs and they can be difficult to trace, due to name changes after marriage or divorce, an unreported change of address or expired postal forwarding order after a move.

Demutualiztion Payments: In addition to unclaimed policy benefits, policyholders and heirs may be entitled to an unexpected windfall. Many mutual life insurance companies, which were owned by their policyholders – including MetLife, John Hancock, Equitable, Prudential, Mony and others – have converted to publicly traded stock companies; entitling policyholders to receive stock and cash in addition to policy benefits.

When John Hancock demutualized, it did not have current addresses for 400,000 policyholders. Prudential could not locate 1.2 million missing policyholders, and several billion dollars of MetLife stock and cash arising from its demutualization went unclaimed!

Life Insurance Legal Settlement: Heirs of deceased policyholders may also be entitled to receive restitution arising from a recent government audit of 20 major life insurance  companies – responsible for writing more than 50% of all the issued and active policies nationwide – that revealed they failed to pay death benefits even when they knew the policy holder was deceased!

 If you have reason to believe a life insurance policy exists but have not received payment, complete the form below to initiate a search.