What to Do With Your New Life Insurance Policy

Life Insurance

You received your new life insurance policy, you sent back the premium and other delivery requirements, and your policy is active and in force. Now what do you do?

You could put the policy in a filing cabinet, a safe deposit box, in a pile of papers with your mortgage etc., or you can set up some safeguards to make sure your policy is found in the event of your death. I have clients who have misplaced their life insurance policies and have contacted us for a duplicate copy. Most carriers charge a fee for a duplicate policy (approximately $25). What will happen when you pass away and nobody can find your policy? Your loved ones are scrambling around calling insurance carriers, looking at bank statements to see if there are deductions for premium somewhere.

Recently one of my family members passed away and even though the policy was found, they did not know who the beneficiaries were. The family members contacted the insurance carrier to verify the coverage and beneficiaries. The insurance carrier told them they could only communicate in writing with the beneficiaries. A little more than a week later, the beneficiaries received notification in the mail as to who the beneficiaries were and what steps were needed to process the death claim.

Some steps I would recommend would be to register the policy online with the insurance carrier. Most of the major life insurance carriers have a website where you can have access to your policy information. You can make payments online, process address changes, request beneficiary change forms. You can even print your coverage specifications, which includes the policy number, the face amount of the policy, and your beneficiary information. Printing this page and providing it to your beneficiaries, attorney, or trustees if you have a trust will save time and frustration when you pass away and funds are needed promptly to pay your final expenses.

About the author: Teri Costen has been in the life insurance business for over 20 years. She is a mother of three who enjoys working out, taking aerobic kickboxing classes, and making stained glass. Teri believes that finding the right life insurance policy helps protect your family and loved ones. You can contact Teri at 1-800-651-1953 or TCosten@Pivot.com.