What To Do When A Life Insurance Policy is “Lost”?

July 24th, 2017

When a loved one dies, the effects can be emotionally and financially devastating. Life insurance policies should provide financial stability after a loved one dies, but what happens if you cannot locate the policy?

If you think that a person had a life insurance policy or annuity contract that you cannot find, here are some tips to help you find the policy:

  1. Who is the right person who can search for a “lost” life insurance policy?

Anyone who thinks he or she is a beneficiary (meaning you will get money from life insurance), executors or administrators or other legal representatives can perform a search and request policy documents.

  1. How do I find a “lost” North Carolina life insurance policy?

If you know there was a policy and it was purchased in North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) can help. To find the policy, use the Lost Life Insurance Policy Locator on the NCDOI website.

  1. What should I do if the “lost” life insurance policy was not from North Carolina?

If you think there was a policy purchased out of state or you cannot find it in North Carolina, here are some additional steps you can take:

  • Check the person’s bank statements and automatic withdrawals for a life insurance payment.
  • Contact the company that handled the person’s auto or homeowner’s policy to see if the same company issued life insurance.
  • Check with the funeral services director to see if the person bought a burial policy to see if the same company issued life insurance.
  • Contact former employers to see if there was a company group life insurance plan and if payments were deducted from the person’s pay.
  • If you know the state where the policy was purchased, you can contact the Department of Insurance in that state for help. To retrieve the contact information for the Departments of Insurance in other states, click here.
  1. What documents will I need?

If you are an executor, administrator or legal representative, you will need:

  • Legal documents appointing you to that role.
  • A death certificate – if you do not have a copy of the death certificate, ask the funeral services director for a copy. If that is not successful, you can request one from the Register of Deeds in the county where the person died or directly from the State.
  1. Is there a time limit?

Yes. There are legal time limitations under North Carolina law (called statutes of limitations) and those that have been written into an insurance contract itself.

Time limitations can range from months to just a few years. Therefore, it is critical to attempt to recover the benefits as soon as you are aware of a potential life insurance policy.

If you are unsure if you are entitled to unclaimed property or unclaimed money from life insurance, you may be able to find out on the North Carolina Treasurer Database.

Finding a “lost” life insurance policy is the first step and we hope these tips will help you successfully recover money under a life insurance policy.

If you find a “lost” life insurance policy and your claim to Life Insurance Benefits is denied, call Henson Fuerst Attorneys for a free confidential consultation at 919-781-1107.

When you call, you will speak with one of our experienced North Carolina Life Insurance Benefits Attorneys absolutely free. We will assess every aspect of your case and determine if we are able to help you recover money owed to you under the life insurance policy. Even if your request for life insurance benefits have been denied, Henson Fuerst may be able to help.

Call Henson Fuerst, Because Your Case Matters