Unclaimed Life Insurance Policies – Introduction

The business of life insurance is serious business and the business of unclaimed life insurance cash is a serious problem. Many people believe that a loved one who has life insurance at the time of their death somehow magically advises the company of their death and the policy is paid. That is obviously not the case. Just because someone had a life insurance policy and died doesn’t mean that their beneficiaries automatically get the money that the deceased wished to leave for them. Somebody who is still living after the insured’s death had better know where to locate that policy and provide it, along with documented proof of the insured’s death, to the insurance company or else insurance proceeds will not be paid out; and right now, today, as you read this, BILLIONS of dollars are waiting to be paid out!

Make no mistake – insurance companies are in the business of paying claims and that’s what they will try to do. But there is a procedure that must be followed and that procedure begins with notification.

Once the legitimacy of a claim has been established, funds will be paid out. If there is a problem with establishing legitimacy, funds will be held until any problems are cleared up. If problems are not cleared up and legitimacy cannot be established, money, which the company doesn’t get to keep but which also won’t go to intended beneficiaries, remains unclaimed… and right now, today, as you read this, BILLIONS of dollars are waiting to be paid!

The procedure must, however, begin with notification.

Now, what might you, the living insured, do to make sure that your insurance proceeds get paid out per your wishes? Well, aside from assuring that all of the pertinent policy information is accurate and up to date, you MUST make sure that beneficiaries know that they are beneficiaries and, ideally, where to Find Lost Life Insurance Policy documents. At the very least, you must make them aware of the company or companies that issued the coverage and policy numbers. Otherwise the payment procedure breaks down and money goes unclaimed. (Also, don’t forget that if someone that you have designated as a beneficiary predeceases you, you need to update your beneficiary designations).

What to Do if You Are a Beneficiary

If you are certain of being a beneficiary or you are an executor of the decedent’s estate but he/she never told you where to find the policy information or even the name of the company, there are things that you can do to find the information that you need.

To start with, if you have any idea of the financial companies that the deceased did business with, make some telephone calls. Ask to speak with someone in the Claims or the Life or Policy Owner Service area. Explain the situation and ask how you may request that they do a search for any coverage that may exist/have existed on your loved one. Or, if you know that the deceased had a financial adviser, definitely call him/her. There is a good chance that he/she will have the information that you are looking for.

Also, because many employees simply go with employer-provided group life insurance, if the decedent was still working at the time of death, check with his/her employer. Or, if he/she was retired and receiving a pension, check with the retirement administrator.

Safe deposit boxes are one of the places where people routinely keep important papers. Don’t overlook this possibility. If these efforts fail you can look into hiring a private investigator who may have resources and legal allowances that you don’t.

If you are a beneficiary, don’t put insurance proceeds… and your loved one’s wishes to provide for survivors… at risk. Talk to your insured loved ones while talk is still possible. The subject is not an easy one to bring up but it is one that must be addressed. Not doing so could frustrate your loved one’s wishes and cost you thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How To Find Affordable Life Insurance Policies

All of us try to make our future secure. More than that we all try to make our family`s future secure. Though we are leading a peaceful and well settled life sometime we get awed by the unseen thought that if some untoward happen to us and our happy and secure family may come on the road. To think negative is not a good habit but so many such incidents happen in front of us every day that we can not avoid thinking about ourselves and get worried. So, to guaranty our and our family’s future we go for life insurance policies. But, here comes the question as which policy is affordable for us.

Before speaking about affordable life insurance policies it is necessary to first categories the section of people for whom the policies are meant for. Normally, there are three sections of people in our society i.e. rich, middle class and poor.

The poor sections are satisfied if they get their daily meal, some clothes and a shelter. They earn on daily basis and buy daily food for the family. They can hardly think about their future security. Further, they are not so aware about life insurance policies. If they are little bit literate then they keep some saved money in the bank.

In a middle class family the main source of income is job, agriculture or small business. The middle class people are the most aware about life insurance policies as they feel not so safe about other investment policies. These days, almost all the grown up members in a middle class family are well educated and earning either taking job or some other fields. So in such cases it is easy to take affordable life insurance policies for them. They should prepare a monthly budget of all the essential expense. Suppose an individual can save Rs 2000/- per month then he can choose Rs 12000/- half yearly premium policy. After deciding the amount of premium as how much you can afford it is to decide as which type of policy you want to go for. In the market there are so many types of policies like critical illness cover, accident cover, education, to protect the assets etc. So we can decide as which one suits us. Normally, only the head of the family worry to go for life insurance policies. But if the children are also working or earning it is better if they can also go for such policies according to their income.

As the rich section of people has big properties vast empire of business they normally have their own consultant for investment. Still, it is better for them to insure their property buy life insurance policies for self and family members to guaranty a secure future, as no one knows what happens tomorrow.

As we know that the amount of premium of life insurance policies is exempted from income tax it is always wise to calculate the income tax before going for the policies. This will do double profit of tax saving and a secure future as well.

Different Life Insurance Policies, Different Rates – But, Now’s The Time To Reevaluate Your Policy

Here are the top four life insurances listed from most expensive to the least expensive.

Universal life insurance

Whole life insurance

Return of Premium life insurance (R.O.P.)

and least expensive of all – Standard Term life insurance

The least expensive may sound good but it may not necessarily be the best insurance for you and your family. A lot of people may have different policies. Two or even three. Each one covering a specific need.

Okay, let’s get to these important tips that could save you money when shopping for life insurance.

Buy life insurance while you’re young.

The younger you are when you purchase a life insurance policy the better. Your rates will be much lower. Buying life insurance for your children when they are young will keep their premiums low for the rest of their lives. Up to 10 times lower!

Find a life insurance policy that meets all your needs.

In other words, a policy that is’ tailor-made’ just for you and your family. Everyone has different needs.

You have a home with a 30 year mortgage that you would want to protect with a 30 year policy. You are 30 to 40 years of age. You should consider a small Whole life insurance policy with an additional 20 year Term life policy. Perhaps you are close to retirement. A 10 year Term life insurance policy may be right for you.

If you are a smoker, you want to consider a short term life insurance policy. (Just quit smoking!! Get a new policy! Many policies are much cheaper for a non-smoker. You will not only get healthier, but think of the money you’ll be saving! Not just on your premiums, but on all that you spend on tobacco!! )

How much life insurance should you purchase to meet your needs and the needs of your family?

First, you need to sit down and figure out what your needs are and the needs of your family.

You need to be prepared when dealing with insurance companies. Their goal is to make money off you. They will do their very best to try and sell you more coverage than you really need. Only purchase enough coverage that will take care of your family if something should happen to you. Such as, burial expenses, out-standing debts, mortgage, etc. Enough insurance for them to live on in a way they have become accustom to. (Note: An average standard is 10 times your yearly gross income plus any large debts you may have.)

The reason one should need to purchase more life insurance than needed is if you are leaving behind a large estate. This would be to keep the assets of your estate from being taxed.

If an insurance company is trying to push you to buy more coverage than you need, move on to another insurance company! There is no trick to buying life insurance. It’s not only fast and easy; It’s free on the internet! You can get many different quotes from many different insurance companies in no time at all and save you a lot of money.

Save money by matching the right insurance company to your lifestyle Let’s say that you have a high risk occupation. Such as an airplane pilot or construction worker. Or perhaps you have a high risk hobby. Such as jumping out of an airplane rather then piloting one. Insurance companies are well aware that they are taking a big. Therefore, they will charge you much higher rates figuring that you may not be paying them premiums as long as they had planned on.

The insurance companies will still insure ‘high risk’ people. But the amount of those individuals is limited. Example: An insurance company, let’s say, has a limit of 10,000 policies that they will issue to a ‘high risk’ individual. Each individual pays $1,000 per year for their policy. Now, after the insurance company reaches their limit of 10,000 policy holders, a ‘new’ high risk individual, (#10,001), is going to pay double for that exact same policy. Why? Because insurance companies are NOT going to exceed that limit and put their assets at risk. They need to compensate by charging higher rates to everyone over that limit.

Take notice of fluctuating rates as your insurance policy increases Some insurance companies are willing to give you a bit of a price break when you increase the amount of your coverage. It is possible to get a $300,000 policy from one insurance company for less than a $275,000 from another insurance company, even if both insurance companies charge the exact same price for that $275,000 policy.

It really pays to check both above and below the coverage you are looking at. You may be surprised at what you might find when you compare.

Are you paying too much for life insurance through you place of employment? Chances are, yes! You see your employer and the insurance company work together to agree on one set ‘group’ rate. Meaning, all employees’ pays the same price for their life insurance policy. They are going to figure in the number of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ employee’s. Now, we already know that a person who is unhealthy will pay more.

Not the case through work. Everyone pays the same rate. The ‘group’ rate’. Therefore, if you are one of the ‘healthy’ employee’s, chances are, you are pay too much because you are paying a portion of the ‘unhealthy’ employee’s premium payment.

Let’s say that in a normal situation, an insurance companies rate would be $50 per week for a healthy person and $100 per week for an unhealthy person. In a ‘group’ rate situation, a set rate would be $75 per week for everyone. Every employee whether healthy or not.

That means that a healthy employee is getting an extra $25 per week taken out of their paycheck to help pay for a portion of the ‘unhealthy’ employee’s premiums.

If this is your case, the wise thing to do, if you are one of the ‘healthy’ employee’s, is to take that $75 per week out of your paycheck yourself and invest it in a life insurance policy that is tailor-made just for you. You would now be in control. You must also keep in mind that if you should ever leave this job, or retire, most likely you would lose any life insurance benefits you had through the company. By investing in your own policy, (and as long as you pay your premiums,) you would never be in fear of losing a policy that you may have paid many, many years in to.

You may save money by paying your premium payments annually.

By making annual premium payments, your life insurance company may give you a discount rate. After all, they are saving money with less labor and less paper work compared to those who pay monthly. If annual payments won’t work for you, ask the insurance company if they will offer a discount on your monthly premium if you pay by credit card. Many insurance companies don’t just willingly offer a discount. So don’t be afraid to ask!

Watch out for “Age Nearest” in your policy

When an insurance company raises your rates as you get older, these increases may not occur on your birthday as most would assume. The fact is, most insurance companies will raise the rates of your policy six months prior to your birthday. They call this ‘Age Nearest’. This could end up costing you a lot of money over the length of your policy. Make sure that you ask your insurance company ‘how’ and ‘when’ they increase their rates.

When to reevaluate your life insurance policy

There are several reasons for reevaluating your life insurance policy every year or so. Insurance rates are dropping, mainly because the internet has made it so easy for everyone to get life insurance quotes. This is resulting in a fierce competition between insurance companies. People are also living longer these days. That means longer policies for the insurance companies and longer premium payments.

It is possible to double your existing policy without paying any more than you are now. Anytime there is a substantial change in your life, you need to reevaluate your life insurance policy. You could be paying for coverage that you no longer need such as, your mortgage, your debts, or you no longer have dependants living at home.

Or, You may need to increase your coverage because, you had a child or purchased a new home. Very, very few insurance companies will ask you on a yearly basis if there are any major changes in your life. You need to inform them and ask them to reevaluate your policy. You can get a cheap life insurance quote but you have to ask and compare.

Missing or Lost Life Insurance Policies

Unfortunately it’s not an uncommon story; someone pays the required premiums on a life insurance policy for years and neglects, or forgets, to give the policy, or any information about the policy, to the intended beneficiary. The insured person passes, the policy documents can’t be found, if the beneficiary even knows about it, and the insurance money is never paid out. And those unpaid life insurance dollars run into the billions!

If you think that this is not happening, and you are the beneficiary on a loved one’s life insurance policy, just ask yourself these few simple questions:

1. Do you know the details of the policy?

2. Do you know the whereabouts of the policy?

3. If something happened today, would you know where to find the details?

If you answered, “no,” to any of these questions you’ve got big gaps in your knowledge which could lead to a real financial tragedy.

Further, if you even suspect that you may be a beneficiary, get the details now. Waiting until it’s too late to talk about it can, in addition to the grief caused by the passing of a loved one, cause severe financial hardship. These subjects, we know, are difficult ones to talk about. But to avoid the difficulties of not knowing, THEY MUSTBE TALKED ABOUT.

If, however, you have lost a loved one and are experiencing the difficulty of not knowing, there are some things that you can do. A few of them follow:

1. Go through your loved one’s financial documents for insurance company dividends or premium notices. Many people keep all their important documents in one place; often in a home office, a bedroom closet, or a safe deposit box at their bank.

2. Scan through their current and past checkbooks. It may be that the last premium is paid is recorded there.

3. Check your loved one’s cell phone contact lists and computer email addresses for the name of an insurance agent.

4. Get in touch with the current and/or previous employer who may have a record of a group policy. If your loved one was retired, group coverage may have been converted to individual coverage.

5. Monitor your loved one’s snail mail for a year. Watch for any correspondence from an insurance company.

6. If your loved one’s passing occurred some years ago, you can also check with unclaimed property office of any state where he/she may have lived. If an insurance company is aware of the passing of a policy holder but is unable to locate the beneficiary, after a period of time it has to turn the proceeds over to the state where policy was issued.

Finding a lost or misplaced life insurance policy can be a daunting task but there are ways… and your patience in searching could prove very rewarding. Also, there are services that will, for a fee, assist you in your search. http://www.LostPolicy.com is one such service. Insurance companies are not only willing to give the beneficiary their rightful due, they are obligated to. But it is the responsibility of survivors to make the required notifications and claim any proceeds.

Important Tips on Buying a Life Insurance Policy

Introduction

Life Insurance comes with many benefits. Nowadays, life insurance isn’t just a contract between the insurer and insured, which provides protection against risk of life by paying a premium. For sustainability in the market, every company and product need to adopt the current demand and circumstances and same goes with the life insurance products too. In these years of change in the market, regulator and life insurance companies have taken major steps to meet the changing demands which have provided customers with following options and benefits:-

  • Wide range of product portfolio
  • Options of saving and investment
  • Added benefits with life insurance
  • Different ways of getting low premium and high coverage
  • Additions in list of key features of life insurance polices
  • Transparency and hassle free procedure

With a pool of different companies, products and benefits to choose from, you need to pick out the best one for you. There are many things which you need to keep in mind before buying insurance and there is no specific guideline for choosing the best one, it all depends on your need and situation. But there are some important points related to every policy which can help you to filter the best insurance policies. Based on those important points, we have outlined following important tips for buying a life insurance policy.

Tips

  • Start early

Buying a Life insurance when you are young, gives you a lot of benefit. You will be able to get high coverage at a very low rate of premium because age has a direct effect the premium rate (younger the buyer, lower the premium is). In addition, with low premium, you will get better financial planning, long duration of coverage and your premium will be locked at a very low rate for your entire policy term.

  • Choose the right coverage amount

Don’t decide your policy coverage on your feelings or on calculations based on single factors (like 10 times of your salary). While deciding upon the coverage amount, always consider your current lifestyle, debts, assets, future obligation (college education of children, settlement of your family to different locations, etc.), and rate of inflation. Choosing low coverage will give you zero benefit while choosing a high coverage will be a costly deal for you.

  • Comparison is the key

Comparison is very much necessary before buying an insurance policy. It helps you to choose the best policy at the best rate. There will be many polices which will not offer benefits which you are looking and may be available at different rates. There are many IRDAI certified comparison portals which provide a comparison of different policies on their websites which is unbiased and easy.

  • Choose the right policy

Different policies have different benefits, eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, exclusions and inclusions. You can choose the right policy for yourself only if you know about it well. So the key in choosing the right product is better understanding about it. Know about the riders available, add on benefits, what is not covered under your policy, premium rates and all other aspects related to your policy. Know your needs well and then find policies accordingly.

  • Choose the right company

There are more than 20 companies in India and it very much necessary to choose a trustworthy company. There are some companies which provide best insurance policies and are trustworthy also. You need to check the claim settlement ratio, review (by customer and experts), claim settlement process, product portfolio, price, etc. of different companies to choose the right one.

  • Understand the brochure

There is a brochure available with every Life Insurance product which is available on the company’s website. It contains all the key benefits, features, eligibility, inclusions, exclusion, term and condition related to the policy. Go through every fine line of the brochure to understand your policy well. It will help you to use the available benefits and avoid any bad surprises in future.

  • Disclose your information correctly in the proposal form

Some people hide facts about themselves while filling the proposal form and giving personal details to the company. For example, some people tick themselves as a non-smoker while giving details to get low rate of premiums. But later, at the claims stage, it could result in zero benefit as the claim will be rejected due to misleading information provided by the insured. You can’t fool the company by giving wrong information. So to avoid any hassle during the policy or at the time of making claims, it is always necessary to provide the right information about yourself to the company.

Never buy a Life Insurance policy in a hurry because it’s a decision which will have an effect on your whole life. Give some time for research and understanding your needs well because a policy bought with precision gives you exactly what you want.