Virginians encouraged to use free life insurance policy locator tool
The State Corporation Commission Bureau of Insurance encourages any Virginian in search of lost or misplaced life insurance policies or annuity contracts to take advantage of the free Life Insurance Policy Locator, which is offered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
“Using secure technology, the service enables consumers to obtain money that is rightfully theirs via life insurance and annuity contracts,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White, who noted the service has helped recover more than $878.8 million nationwide.
If you believe you are a beneficiary, or you are the executor or legal representative of a deceased person, you may use the free service by submitting a search request form and following these steps:
- Gather as much information about the deceased person as possible, including his or her full name (along with maiden name, if applicable), Social Security number, date of birth, state where the policy was purchased, insurance company name, and the person or organization who sold the policy.
- Obtain a copy of the individual’s death certificate.
- Visit the SCC Bureau of Insurance website (www.scc.virginia.gov/pages/Tips,-Guides-Publications) and click on “Life Insurance” or the NAIC website (locator.naic.org) and complete as many fields as possible.
Requests made through the service are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality. Once a request is submitted, the NAIC will then ask participating companies to search their records using the information provided. If there is a match, a company will typically respond 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 a policyholder has died but cannot locate the beneficiaries of the policy, the company – under Virginia law – must turn over the policy’s 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 was written, 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 visit scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance.