While many people know that they are the beneficiaries of life insurance policies, others are unaware. Receiving a payout from a life insurance policy of a long lost relative is an unexpected surprise.
Though most people are unhappy to hear that a loved one passed away, they are comforted to know that this individual considered them important.
According conservative estimates, approximately £2 billion in life insurance benefits are unclaimed in the UK.
Life Insurance Is the Forgotten Benefit
Life insurance is a long-term benefit so it is easy to forget it. If a family member dies without a will, it can be difficult to discover whether the individual had a life insurance policy. Reviewing check registers and old bank statements of the individual may identify whether premiums were paid for life insurance.
If the deceased had a solicitor or accountant, this person may have helpful information. Speaking with previous employers may reveal a group insurance policy that the deceased participated in that may still be in force.
The UK life insurance industry does not currently offer a tracing service…
However, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) provides assistance with the search for unclaimed assets including life insurance policies. If a surviving loved one discovers that the deceased had a policy but does not know the name of the insurer, this group may be able to help.
The ABI can be contacted via mail, telephone, or its website. If the individual knows the name of the insurance company but cannot find contact information, an online search or review of the online ABI member list may provide the details.
The Unclaimed Assets Register (UAR) provided by Experian is another way to find missing money and get in touch with the financial institutions that hold it. To identify lost assets including life insurance policies, an individual establishes an online UAR account and searches the database. Whenever a financial institution provides new information to the UAR, Experian runs the established search request to identify matching lost assets. This alert service is currently provided at no charge for a six-year period.
Tracking Down Friendly Society Policies
Friendly societies were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These were established by groups of people banding together to create an association or a local branch of an existing association. These individuals paid fees that went into the treasury of the association and made available to them during a time of need. Members could choose from different services including disability, health, and life insurance.
During the early 1950s, there were hundreds of these mutual organizations but many of them no longer exist. Loved ones can track down a friendly society insurance policy provider through the Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM), which maintains a register of many friendly society business transfers and mergers. If a prospective beneficiary does not have any details regarding such a policy but believes that one exists, the My Assets Reunited tool from AFS may help find it.
The UAR currently has approximately 4.5 million assets from 85 different participating companies. When an organization believes that it has lost contact with a customer due to death or relocation, it often registers assets with the UAR. Experian processes approximately 600 requests each month, matching around ten percent to possible assets. The ABI and AFM have also helped many UK residents find lost life insurance policies of their deceased loved ones.