The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) has developed a no fee individual life insurance policy and annuity contract locator search service. You can locate this service by going online to www.naic.org and type in “Lost Life” in the search bar. The information you provide to the NAIC is shared with participating insurers. If a policy is found, they will contact you directly.
Another resource is the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). This entity receives certain medical information from life insurance applications that is shared only between insurers. There is a fee of $75 associated with each search. You may utilize their services by calling (781) 329-4500 or by going online to www.mib.com and clicking on “Find Lost Life Insurance”.
The first thing you should do is call the company’s claims department and ask for an explanation of the delay.
Keep in mind, if the insured passed away during the first two years of the policy period, the company has the right to investigate the claim. They will request and review medical records to make sure all questions on the application were answered correctly, and all health issues were disclosed to them. If a material misstatement is discovered, the claim may be denied by the company and all premiums refunded. If the company indicates they are waiting on medical records from the provider, you may wish to contact the provider to ask the medical records be sent to the company as soon as possible.
If an insured passed away after the two-year policy period, and your claim has been delayed by 30 days or more, make sure all documents the company has requested have been received. If these documents have been received by the company more than 30 days ago, we may be able to assist you.
Please be aware, if you are not listed as the current beneficiary, the company has no obligation to provide you with any information. Our department can verify the beneficiary; however, we will not be able to provide specifics if you are not the listed beneficiary.
You should confirm with both the new company and the old company all necessary documents have been submitted to the new company. If either company has not received the required documents, contact your agent for an explanation and help. If the old company received all required documentation more than 45 days ago and the funds have still not been transferred to the new company, we may be able to assist.
Check to see what type of policy you have. It is legal if it is a flexible premium life policy also known as a Universal Life insurance policy. With this type of policy, the cost of insurance increases each year as you age. If the interest rates have not been high enough, the policy accumulation value may not be keeping pace with the annual cost of insurance. When this happens, you will need to adjust your premium payments to keep the coverage in effect. You may wish to ask the insurance company for a current in force illustration that shows the policy is continuing for a period specified by you. If you no longer need as much coverage, another option is to ask if the company will allow you to reduce the death benefit. This may allow you to keep the policy in place for a number of years at a more affordable premium.
If you have a term policy, the policy is most likely at the end of the guaranteed “term” period and will renew each year at a higher rate. You may wish to contact the company to see if some or all of the death benefit can be converted to a permanent plan with a guaranteed premium.
This annual notice is informational only. The company is required by law to provide an annual notice stating if you are considering making changes to your policy, you should contact a licensed agent or financial advisor. The notice must advise that you may contact our office if you have any questions. If you are not considering making any changes, you don’t need to do anything.