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Make Sure Life Insurance is Claimed

li-55In the U. S. every year millions of dollars in life insurance proceeds go unclaimed. The exact amount is unknown because the life insurance industry doesn’t keep records of how many policies fall into this category but government agencies responsible for reuniting these funds to their rightful beneficiaries estimate the amount is over $100 million annually. So you need to make sure life insurance is claimed.

What you are probably wondering is how these funds go unclaimed. After all, if you purchase life insurance to provide your family with financial security after you’re gone. If they never claim the money, your efforts are wasted. The reason the policies go unclaimed typically falls into one of three categories:

1) The family never knew the policy existed
2) The family had no idea where to find the policy
3) The family is so busy with arrangements they forget to file the claim

Most families who need the financial security provided by life insurance probably won’t forget to make the claim. They need the money to cover the mortgage, funeral bills, hospital expenses, among others. Get Peace of Mind by Protecting Your Family. Search for Life Insurance Quotes.

However, the other two reasons happen much more often than you might think. About three years ago, an 85-year old woman passed away. Before her death, she had kept most of her important papers at the home she owned (she had been living with her son’s family for several years). When her children started cleaning out the old house in order to sell it, they found paperwork for several insurance policies they never knew existed. Thankfully, they found the policies in time to claim them. Many families are not as lucky.

If you want to ensure that your policy’s proceeds are claimed by your family, you need to communicate with them to make sure life insurance is claimed.

Make sure everyone in your family knows you have a life insurance policy. If you’re uncomfortable revealing the amount, you don’t have to. But your family should be told that the policy exists. Otherwise, they won’t bother to look for the policy or consider filing a claim.

Second, keep the policy in a safe place that would be easy to locate and access in the event of your death. Locked boxes, in-home safes, and even safety deposit boxes are all good possible places for storing your policy. Be sure that you tell your loved ones where the policy can be found. If a key or combination is needed, keep that somewhere easy to find.

Third, if you have a will consider including the location of the life insurance policy in the legal document. By adding this information, you will make it easier for the executor of your estate to find the policy and ensure the funds get into the hands of  the appropriate beneficiaries.

The bottom line is you need to communicate now with your family about what they need to do when that time comes. No one wants to talk about their own death, especially with their spouse and children, but the conversation is necessary if you want them to have the life insurance funds.

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