How To Replace Your Lost Policy
Obtaining a replacement for a lost life insurance policy is really a simple process although at times it may seem to be quite a pain in the neck.
When I deliver a policy to a client I usually recommend that they put it away somewhere that gives them easy access to it but also in a place where it can be easily found by the heirs.
A lost life insurance policy …try not to go there by using one of the following.
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Lost Life Insurance Policy
- A Safety Deposit Box
In order not to have their clients in a position where they are unable to find their policies many agents recommend that they put it in a safety deposit box.
If access to the box can be had by the owner as well as another trusted person that is fine as safety deposit boxes are usually sealed at the death of the owner until after the estate has gone through probate.
Upon the death of the insured this person may search for a will, a life insurance policy or any relevant information that may assist the courts in probate. If there is only the name of the owner on that box then there could be problems.
- A Fire And Water Resistant Storage Box In The Place Of Residence
Many years ago life insurance companies used to sell their agents fire and water resistant storage containers which they in turn gave away to their policy owners.
They were quite neat and the clients were happy to have them. The kept all their valuable papers in them. That reduced the occurrences of having a lost life insurance policy.
- A Policy Wallet
Many a life insurance policy is stored in a policy wallet provided by the life insurance company or the agent himself. The problem is that they are not usually protected from the elements and in addition can easily be tucked away somewhere preventing your heirs from easily locating them.
Now that I have covered prevention of lost life insurance policies let us look at what you do if this should occur.
- The Policy Owner Is Still Alive
If you have a lost life insurance policy the first step is to contact your agent as he has all the relevant information that will help you get a replacement very quickly.
There is a fee charged by the life insurance company for this. If the agent is no longer with the company contact the agency office or the home office of the company…with proper identification they will provide a replacement.
- The Policy Owner Is Deceased
If you are a beneficiary of a policy or a close relative of a deceased policy owner and you are unable to locate the policy you should first contact the agent if you know who s/he is.
Otherwise contact the agency office or the home office of the company after you search through old documents…in particular canceled premium payment checks or money orders which would show the policy number.
You then contact the company. After verifying who you are they will be quite accommodating. Even if you are unable to find the number they will help you. You may be required to provide proof of death of the insured.
Store you policies carefully and advise a trusted relative of their location. Avoid a lost life insurance policy occurrence.
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