Over $18.5 Million in Life Insurance Benefits Located For TennesseansWithout Life Insurance Locator, Benefits May Have Gone Unclaimed
NASHVILLE – As part of Life Insurance Awareness Month in September, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance announces that unclaimed life insurance benefits totaling over $18.5 million have been located for Tennesseans thus far in 2019.
Each year, millions of dollars in life insurance benefits go unclaimed by beneficiaries who cannot find their loved ones’ policies or, in some cases, may not even know these policies exist. To help assist consumers, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) created the Life Insurance Policy Locator which enables beneficiaries, executors, or legal representatives of a deceased person to track down the life insurance policies or annuity contracts of their late family members or friends.
This free tool has helped Tennessee consumers locate $18,522,493 million in benefits through June 30, 2019 (the most recent available date), trailing only Pennsylvania where $22,190, 892 has been located through the same period. Over $188 million has been located for consumers across all states this year.
“The Lost Policy Locator can help ease the burden on grieving family members and friends who might worry about finding a policy during what is already a stressful time,” said TDCI Interim Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “I’m proud to help promote this useful tool that all Tennesseans can use.”
All locator requests are secure, confidential and free. Any matches found by participating insurers are reported to state insurance agencies. The companies then are responsible for contacting beneficiaries.
“Beneficiaries who don’t know where policy paperwork is located may struggle to find it while taking care of their loved ones’ estate,” said Eric A. Cioppa, NAIC President and Maine Insurance Superintendent. “The NAIC’s Life Insurance Policy Locator gives everyone in the U.S. access to insurer databases and makes it easier to find policies and annuities.”
The service does not track beneficiary information or claim payment after matches are reported so there is no way to determine the amount actually returned to consumers. The total claim amount only includes the amount reported by companies tied to a match.
Consumers can also complete the NAIC’s online Life Insurance Policy Locator Service request form. (It may take up to 90 business days to receive a response related to a request. If no matches are found, requesters will not receive a response.) A certified death certificate is the most helpful document to have on hand. Bank statements and identification cards with personal information may also be useful.
Once the request is complete, NAIC will send the policyholder’s information to all licensed life insurance companies. Then, companies will check their records to determine if they have a policy matching the beneficiary’s information. The company will respond within 60 days if a match is found.
For more information about the Lost Policy and other consumer insurance resources, visit tn.gov/insurance or contact the TDCI Consumer Insurance Service Division at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218.