Free life insurance policy locator tool helps Virginians recover $37M
A free service provided by life insurance companies has helped 2,996 Virginia residents recover $37,338,096 pledged to them as beneficiaries of life insurance policies and annuity contracts since 2017.
The State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance encourages any Virginian looking for lost or misplaced life insurance policies or annuity contracts (whether issued in Virginia or elsewhere) to take advantage of the free Life Insurance Policy Locator, which is offered through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White applauded the service’s success and security, noting that it has helped consumers recover more than $1.1 billion nationwide since 2017.
“By using secure technology, the service helps consumers obtain money that is rightfully theirs via life insurance and annuity contracts,” he said.
According to the NAIC, there are currently 12,853 insurance companies across the United States participating in the Policy Locator program.
The free locator service can help those who are a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or annuity contract, as well as those who are the executor or legal representative of someone who has passed away. To use the service, you should submit a search request form and follow these steps:
- Gather as much information about the deceased policyholder as possible, including their full name (along with maiden name, if applicable), Social Security number, date of birth, the state where they purchased the policy, name of the insurance company, and the person or organization who sold the policy or contract.
- Obtain a copy of the individual’s death certificate.
- Visit the SCC Bureau of Insurance website (bit.ly/3qNpWja) and click on “Life Insurance” or the NAIC website (bit.ly/2Moz2nu) and complete as many fields as possible.
Requests made through the locator service are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality. Once a request is submitted, the NAIC will ask participating companies to search their records on your behalf using the information provided. If there is a match, a company usually responds to the person who submitted the request within 90 business days, assuming the person submitting the request is the designated beneficiary or is authorized to receive information.
When a life insurance company knows that an annuitant or policyholder has died but cannot locate the beneficiaries of the policy or annuity contract, the company – under Virginia law – must turn over the benefits to the state’s unclaimed property office if those benefits are not claimed after a certain number of years. If you know the state in which a life insurance policy or annuity contract was written, you also should check with that state’s insurance department or the office that handles unclaimed property.
To avoid lost policies, the Bureau of Insurance encourages Virginians to:
- Keep beneficiary information up to date.
- Alert beneficiaries of the policy and provide them with the names of the servicing agent and the insurance company that issued the policy.
- Place a current copy of the life insurance policy in a safe and accessible place with wills and estate documents, and ask the insurance company for an annual policy statement if one is not provided.
For questions or additional information about the policy locator and other life and health insurance matters, contact the Consumer Services Section of the Virginia Bureau of Insurance Life and Health Division toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at 804-371-9691 or visit www.scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance.