Finding Lost Life Insurance Policies After Death

Life insurance policies can be hard to find sometimes. Here are a few places to look and a few things to do if you can't find one.

Life insurance policies can be a huge financial help after a loved one passes away. Life insurance is pretty simple: a monthly payment is made, and if you were to pass away during the term of your policy, you and your family receive a lump sum. This can help protect your loved ones financially after you are gone. 🤺

As they can mature long after they were originally purchased, there is a possible risk that they could become lost. Thankfully, there are a few places to look to reclaim a lost insurance policy, and a few things you should do if you cannot find a life insurance policy after someone’s death.

Finding a life insurance policy after death

If you think they may have had life insurance then here is a list of places that you can look 👀

Check bank statements – A good starting point is to check their bank statements as there will be a list of direct debits for their regular bills and insurance payments. Hopefully, there is a payment to an insurance company and you can get in touch with them and see what the payment was for.

Insurance related documents – Most people keep all of their documents in one place. If the deceased has other insurance documents for any other type of cover, then perhaps they also have their life insurance with them. Many people use the same company for different types of insurance.

Other life insurance policies – Perhaps they had more than one life insurance policy. If so, it’s likely that on the application they would have had to list any other life insurance policies they had. This can be a great way to get a list of all possible policies.

Financial advisors – It’s likely that the deceased would have contacted a financial advisor at some point in their life, such as a solicitor to set up a trust, a will-writing service or to set up another life insurance policy. Check with them!

Previous employers – Many employers will have life insurance policies or pension policies that will pay out upon death. It’s worth getting a list together of all of their previous employers.

Check tax returns – If the deceased was self-employed then they would have needed to fill out tax returns. It’s possible that on those tax returns that they would have put their life insurance down as an expense. If so, then all the information may be there.

Unclaimed Assets Register (UAR) – Your last port of call may be to check the UAR register which is run by Experian. This lets you search for any lost assets and will then place you in touch with the financial provider. There is currently a £25 fee for this service.

How to Avoid Lost or Unclaimed Life Insurance

If you are fortunate enough to be reading this before someone has passed away, then we can help you avoid the pain of unclaimed assets or a lost policy that delays the payout from a life insurance company.

Here are three extremely helpful ways you can ensure life insurance companies pay out after the policyholder dies.

Make sure the documents are filed with your life insurance company

It sounds simple, but the life insurance industry can be full of complications, competitors, and closures. One insurer may go out of business, while another takes over its clients.

All the policies someone carried are part of their overall estate. So, you should check that all the contact details and policy notes for every policy are on file with the life insurance company. A simple check every two or three years will ensure the files are in order.

Keep a file of important documents to make claiming life insurance easier

Even more important is keeping your own personal file of important documents. This could include:

  • Contact information for British insurers
  • Policy details for every policy you carry
  • A list of policy beneficiaries

These documents can be stored along with your will. When it becomes necessary, an appointed representative can use these documents to provide proof of insurance and help the executors of your estate.

Tell your family members about your policies and check on their plans

One of the best things you can do is simply tell your family about your personal finance choices, insurance plans, and other arrangements you have made.

We know talking about money and insurance can be difficult. However, if you have already made your life insurance arrangements, then the hard part is finished. You can tell your family about how you are looking after them.

While you are having those chats, it may be a good idea to ask about their plans. If your siblings or parents don't have a will or life insurance, try to encourage them to make good plans for these matters.

We are an online service provider. So writing a will and taking out an insurance policy with us is all done online. 💻 While your will is sent to you in physical form, for either safe keeping yourself or to be sent back with our partners JPEP, there is always a copy online. This goes for your life insurance cover as well, there is always the ability to find your details. In this digital age, we are making sure that things are as simple and straightforward as possible. Find more about what our life insurance policies are all about by reading our FAQs.

Lost life insurance FAQs

Is a life insurance policy public record?

Life insurance documents and policies are not part of the public record. However, insurance companies are helpful and will respond to requests for information from next of kin and policy beneficiaries.

How can you find out if someone has a life insurance policy on you?

People are often concerned about life insurance being taken out in their name with either fraudulent or harmful intent. However, in the UK, it is impossible to take out life insurance without a consent form. During the process of verifying the consent form, insurance underwriters usually perform additional identity checks. Also, in order to insure someone, the person taking out the policy must have an insurable interest. So your neighbor or a stranger can't take out a life insurance policy on you.

How do I trace a life insurance policy?

You can contact the insurer who issued the policy. If you do not know the insurer, then you can contact multiple insurers to ask if they have a policy in the name of your deceased relative. You may require proof of your interest, such as a death certificate and/or probate details.

How long after death do you have to collect from life insurance companies?

There will be no time limit for making a claim. As long as the insurance claim was valid and active at the time of death, you should be eligible for the payout. Because of this, you don't need to panic if you can't find the policy straight away. You can keep looking, knowing that there'll be no issues if it's found, even if this is months after the deaths.

How do you find out if a deceased person has life insurance?

Hopefully, they included this information with their estate. Failing that, you'll need to look through their documents or contact insurers directly to ask them if someone has life insurance under that name. After time passes, you may also apply to the unclaimed assets register to find out if someone has unclaimed assets.

Can you search for unclaimed life insurance policies?

Not in an automated way, no. You can apply to the unclaimed assets register or search by calling individual companies. However, unless you know there is a valid policy, this may be very time-consuming.

How do I find the value of an old life insurance policy?

Depending on the policy, there may be no value at all. Most life policies have a term limit. If the person died outside of the term limit, then the policy probably has no value. If the policy is still in effect or the person died in term, then contact the life insurance company to ask for the value of the policy.

What happens if you lose your policy document?

If you are still alive and asking this question (and we assume you are!), then you should be able to contact your insurer for replacements. They should be able to sort this out quickly for you.

What happens if I can’t find the policy?

If you can’t find the policy, then unfortunately you're not going to be able to make a claim. Life insurance companies aren't going to be notified of the death and therefore won't know that their policyholder has died. There is no database for life insurance policies, so most of the time this will be covered in their documents or in their will. If you knew they had a policy then you'll simply have to keep searching for the provider.

Can you outlive an insurance policy?

It is possible that they had a life insurance policy that is no longer valid. Term life insurance policies will cover someone for a specific period of time, for example, 25 years. If they have lived beyond that time scale, then there will no longer be a valid claim for life insurance.

Can life insurance expire?

Another way you can outlive a life insurance policy is if there is an age limit on it. Some policies will cease to cover a person past a certain age. This is usually at a very advanced age, perhaps around 95 or 100 but each provider will have its own terms and conditions.

Is there a time limit on claiming insurance?

There will be no time limit for making a claim. As long as the insurance claim was valid and active at the time of death, you should be eligible for the payout. Because of this, you don't need to panic if you can't find the policy straight away. You can keep looking, knowing that there'll be no issues if it's found, even if this is months after the deaths.

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FF Bequest Limited, trading as Bequest, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with firm reference number 923791. You can check our authorisation on the FCA Financial Services Register by visiting the following website: register.fca.org.uk . We are registered in England and Wales, Registered office address: Founders Factory, Northcliffe House, London, United Kingdom, W8 5EH. Company Number 12367897.

Regulated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) [ZA662891]. "Bequest" is trademark protected by FF Bequest Limited (UK00003452648). FF Bequest Limited is registered in England and Wales, No 12367897.

0203 916 5433

FF Bequest Limited, trading as Bequest, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with firm reference number 923791. You can check our authorisation on the FCA Financial Services Register by visiting the following website: register.fca.org.uk . We are registered in England and Wales, Registered office address: Founders Factory, Northcliffe House, London, United Kingdom, W8 5EH. Company Number 12367897.

Regulated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) [ZA662891]. "Bequest" is trademark protected by FF Bequest Limited (UK00003452648). FF Bequest Limited is registered in England and Wales, No 12367897.

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