Tracking down life insurance policies
The Insurance Commissioner’s Office is trying to make it easier for Georgians to track down and file life insurance claims.
The Life Insurance Policy Locator Service has helped more than 100 Georgians receive about $750,000 in benefits so far.
If you don’t know where a life insurance policy is, if your loved one had life insurance or if you’re a beneficiary, you can submit a request to find out. It’ll then send an alert to insurance companies to check if they hold a policy in that name, and the companies will let you know if they do if you’re a beneficiary.
Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jay Florence said you should have a few things before you send a request.
“The more information you have, the better,” he said. “So if you have a life insurance policy number, obviously that’s a good idea, and if you know the company, that’s good. But as a baseline, you want to make sure you have the person who passed away, their date of birth and date of death, as well as your name if you’re requesting the insurance companies to check to see whether or not you’re a beneficiary.”
If you have this information on hand, Florence said it should take about 15 minutes to complete the request, and if a company holds a policy in the name you’re searching for, it should inform you within a few weeks.
He added that in this process, time is of the essence.
“About two years after a life insurance company finds out that someone has passed away, they hold on to the money,” Florence said. “And after that two-year period runs, they actually turn it over, it’s not to us, but to the Unclaimed Property Division of the state. And then the state holds on to it for, I believe, six years, and after that period runs, the state then deposits it into the general fund, and you lose the opportunity to claim it.”