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Find an unclaimed or missing life insurance policy benefit

It is the responsibility of beneficiaries to notify a life insurance company of the policy owner’s death. More than one-quarter of all life insurance policy benefits go unclaimed on death of the insured, because family members simply aren’t aware a policy exists, or don’t know how to trace it.

A recent government audit found most life insurance companies make little effort to trace or track down missing heirs, even when it is known the policy holder is deceased. New rules taking effect in 2012 require a more diligent effort, but estimates exceed $1 billion in unclaimed life insurance among the major underwriters.

Complicating matters, a missing heir can be difficult to find due to name changes after marriage or divorce, an unreported change of address or expired postal forwarding order after a move, and incomplete or illegible records. Military personnel and students are particularly vulnerable, given their transient lifestyles.

Policyholders may also be entitled to an unexpected windfall. As a number of mutual life insurance companies – including MetLife, John Hancock, MONY, Prudential and others – have converted to stock ownership, millions of current and former policyholders and heirs are entitled to receive stock and cash, in addition to policy benefits. Even if your insurance company no longer exists, payments of up to $300,000 are possible from state insurance guaranty associations.

If you have reason to believe a life insurance policy exists but have not received payment, complete the form below to initiate a search.

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