The Importance of Keeping Life Insurance Records on Hand
Where do you keep your life insurance polices? Is your beneficiary aware that they are named as the primary beneficiary of your life insurance policy? Do you keep your life insurance policy in a safety deposit box? Do you keep life insurance records on hand that will provide information about your life insurance policies in the event of your death?
Storing your life insurance policies in a safety deposit box may not be a good option. There may be restrictions preventing anyone other than you from having access to your safety deposit box if you are the sole renter at the time of your death. Many states mandate that the safety deposit box be sealed pending the probating of the estate of the deceased renter of the safety deposit box. Most insurance companies will accept a declaration of the loss of the policy when submitting a death claim, making the physical policy unnecessary.
I have often been approached by individuals who believed that a deceased family member had life insurance policies, however, they could not locate any policies, the names of the life insurance companies, policy numbers, annual statements or billing records to guide them. In summary, there were no life insurance records on-hand. This has led to suggesting they contact the individual’s employer to determine if there were any life insurance policies established, accessing bank records to see if there were premium payments made to any insurance companies, checking fire proof boxes, file cabinets, envelopes and any place where important papers could have been stored. The attorney of the deceased may have knowledge of any life insurance policies.
I had a recent inquiry from a woman who believed she was the beneficiary of her father’s life insurance policy. This prompted a search that led to the life insurance proceeds, which had become unclaimed property in the state the insured resided in at the time of death. The proceeds were paid over seven years ago.
This is an important reminder for you to keep records of the life insurance companies, policy numbers, issue dates, face amount, beneficiary names and the insurance agent servicing the policies on hand in a file. You may want to even have duplicates in different places in the event of a fire to guide your beneficiaries in the event of your passing. The passing of a loved one is a stressful time and the inability of the beneficiary to have this information accessible makes the loss more stressful. Plan ahead and keep life insurance records on hand.
About the author: Ken Buccico holds a LUTC designation and has been in the life insurance business for 39 years. His wealth of experience empowers clients to make best possible decision regarding a life insurance policy. To explore the best life insurance option, contact Ken at 1-800-651-1953 or KBuccico@Pivot.com.