TDCI Reminds Consumers to Focus on the Future During Life Insurance Awareness Month

Monday, August 28, 2023 | 11:43am

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (“TDCI”) is joining other insurance regulators across the nation to highlight the importance of life insurance in September during Life Insurance Awareness Month.

Life insurance coverage can help families protect their futures and ease financial burdens during an emergency or after a loved one’s death. Unfortunately, recent figures show over 60 million Americans do not have adequate life insurance.

“During Life Insurance Awareness Month, I encourage consumers to evaluate their current benefits, seek advice from qualified insurance professionals, and take the actions necessary to achieve a financially secure future for their loved ones,” said TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “Discussing life insurance today can sometimes be a tough conversation, but it is a valuable one in the long run.”

Said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Insurance Bill Huddleston: “Life insurance is a foundational tool for creating financial resilience for the next generation that can help keep homes and pay for college after a parent is lost. Consumers who have questions about their policies are urged to contact our team today either online or by phone at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218.”

Things All Life Insurance Policyholders Should Know

Life insurance policies can be taken out by anyone who can prove they have an insurable interest in the person — that is, financial or emotional interest in the insured person’s life. If you have a life insurance policy, your responsibility does not stop with the paperwork. As a policyholder, there are important steps you should take now and in the future to help your loved ones:

  • Have you had a life-changing event such as the birth of a child or a divorce? It is important to update your policies after a major life event to make sure that you have the appropriate beneficiaries listed.
  • Check your policies once a year to make sure that all beneficiaries are included and that the contact information for those listed beneficiaries is correct.
  • Let your beneficiaries know about the policies. Good communication can save everyone time and reduce confusion in the long run.
  • Provide beneficiaries or trusted advisors (such as accountants and attorneys) with the name of the life insurance company holding the policy.
  • Place a current copy of the policy with your will or other estate paperwork in a safe place where family and beneficiaries will be able to easily find it.
  • In Tennessee, there is a “free-look” period of 10 days after the purchase of a life insurance policy. You can return the policy with a full refund without fees or penalties within those 10 days.
  • An insurance company has 60 days to pay a death claim to beneficiaries. If a claim is not paid within 15 days of the date of death, the company must also pay interest.
  • There is a grace period of 30 days for missed payments in Tennessee. If you miss a payment, you will be covered for 30 days even if the missed payment is not made up.
  • If you are unsure if a deceased loved one had life insurance, you can file a request for a free search through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance Policy Locator Service. This free tool can be used to determine if you are a beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

Questions about a policy or an agent? For more information, visit TDCI online or contact the TDCI Consumer Insurance Services Division at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218.