Last updated: 16/06/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
The passing of a loved one is always a difficult and emotional time. Not only are you dealing with the loss of someone you care about, but you may also have to take on additional responsibilities, such as dealing with their finances and settling their estate.
One thing you may be wondering is whether your relative had a life insurance policy , particularly if they talked about taking one out in the past. However, finding someone else's life insurance and making a claim can be a long process, especially if you're not sure who their beneficiary is.
In this blog, you'll discover what steps you should take to find someone else's life insurance policy and learn more about the information you'll need to make a claim.
In This Guide:
- How to Find Out If Someone Has Life Insurance for Free
- Other Ways to Track Down a Life Insurance Policy
- Use Unclaimed Assets Register
- What Happens When Life Insurance Isn’t Claimed?
- What If My Loved One’s Life Insurance Has No Beneficiary?
- Do Life Insurance Companies Contact Beneficiaries?
- What Information Do You Need to Make a Life Insurance Claim?
- Check If Someone Has Life Insurance Today
How to Find Out If Someone Has Life Insurance for Free
Before you spend any money hiring a professional, take a look at the following free ways you can begin your life insurance search.
Look Through Their Records and Documents
The first place to start when trying to find out if your relative had a life insurance policy is to check their records and documents. Look through their paperwork, including bank statements, bills, and any other insurance policies they may have had. You may also want to check their will or any other legal documents they may have left behind.
Ask Their Employer
If you are unable to find any information about a life insurance policy in your loved one's records and documents, it may be worth checking with their employer or any professional organizations they may have been a member of. Some employers offer life insurance policies to their employees as part of their benefits package, and some professional organizations offer group life insurance policies to their members.
Contact the Life Insurance Company
It can sometimes be worth contacting life insurance companies directly, especially if you have a good idea which one your relative may have a policy with. You will need to provide the company with your relative's name, date of birth, and any other identifying information you may have. The insurance company will then be able to tell you whether your relative had a policy with them and, if so, the details of the policy.
Other Ways to Track Down a Life Insurance Policy
If you haven't managed to find your relative's policy using any of the above, you may want to consider these next steps. While these methods will incur a fee, it can be worth pursuing them if you have a strong feeling that your relative may have had life insurance.
Use Unclaimed Assets Register
The Unclaimed Assets Register (UAR) is a service designed to help individuals and families locate lost or forgotten financial assets, such as bank accounts, pensions, and life insurance policies. The service is run by a private company and charges a fee for its services. This fee may vary, but usually you can expect to pay around £25.
The UAR maintains a database of unclaimed assets that have been transferred to it by various financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies. The database is searchable, and individuals can use the service to search for any unclaimed assets that may belong to them or their loved ones. The service can also be used to search for lost assets on behalf of a deceased relative.
Hire a Professional
As a last resort, you can consider hiring a professional to help you find your loved one's life insurance policy. There are companies that specialize in tracking down lost or forgotten life insurance policies that will typically charge a fee for their services, but they may be able to find information that you were unable to uncover on your own.
What Happens When Life Insurance Isn’t Claimed?
If your relative had a life insurance policy, it is important to make a claim as soon as possible. In most cases, there is a time limit for making a claim, typically two years from the date of death. If you miss this deadline, the insurance company may not pay out on the policy.
If the life insurance policy is not claimed, the funds will typically be held by the insurance company for a set period of time. After this time, the funds may be transferred to the government's unclaimed assets department, where they will be held until claimed by the rightful owner or their heirs.
What If My Loved One’s Life Insurance Has No Beneficiary?
If your relative did not name a beneficiary, the funds from the policy will typically be paid to their estate. This means that the funds will be distributed according to your relative's will or, if they did not have a will, according to the laws of intestacy.
Do Life Insurance Companies Contact Beneficiaries?
In some cases, the life insurance company may contact the beneficiaries of a policy directly. However, they will typically only do this if they are aware of the beneficiary's contact information, as there are strict rules surrounding who they can disclose information to. Usually, these people are the policyholder, the named beneficiaries, or their legal representatives .
As a result, it's unlikely that a life insurance provider will contact you directly. Beware of scam phone calls and don't be too quick to provide anyone with your details until you are sure the life insurance policy is legitimate.
What Information Do You Need to Make a Life Insurance Claim?
If you have been successful in your life insurance search, you will need to gather the right information to make a claim . The documents you need will depend on the insurance company and the policy itself, but the following details are typically required:
- The policyholder's name, date of birth, and policy number (if available)
- A certified copy of the death certificate
- The beneficiary's name and contact information
- Any other information the insurance company requests
It's important to make a claim as soon as possible, as there may take some time for the insurance provider to review all the details you submit.
Check If Someone Has Life Insurance Today
The sooner you begin your life insurance search, the easier it will be to find your relative's policy and make a successful claim. It's never easy handling a loved one's estate and belongings, but finding their life insurance policy can give you peace of mind and help ease your financial burden during a difficult time.