RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance encourages Virginians in search of lost or misplaced life insurance policies to use the free Life Insurance Policy Locator offered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). “Hundreds of Virginians have already recovered millions of dollars entitled to them by using this service,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott A. White. “It utilizes NAIC technology to enable consumers to secure money that was promised to them through insurance contracts.”
Since its launch in November 2016, thousands of consumers nationwide have reaped the benefits of this tool, which has matched more than 8,000 beneficiaries with lost or misplaced life insurance policies or annuities totaling more than $167.2 million. So far in Virginia, 392 consumers have recovered more than $4.5 million using this service.
Nationwide, more than 40,000 consumers – including more than 1,400 in Virginia – have conducted searches since the Life Insurance Policy Locator was launched.
How it works:
Beneficiaries, executors or legal representatives of a deceased person may submit a search request form to the NAIC by going to the SCC Bureau of Insurance website at https://www.scc.virginia.gov/boi/cons/index.aspx or to the NAIC site at http://locator.naic.org. Such requests are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality.
- Using the information submitted, the NAIC then asks participating companies to search their records to determine whether they have a life insurance policy or annuity contract in the name of the deceased.
- Participating companies that have policy information are asked to respond to the requester if the requester is the designated beneficiary or is authorized to receive information.
- The policy locator is free to consumers. Neither insurance companies nor agents should assess a fee to users.
To facilitate your search for a policy, the Bureau of Insurance recommends trying to determine which insurance company issued the policy; which agent or broker sold the policy or whether the policy was purchased through an employer, union or association.
To claim a life insurance benefit, you will need personal details about the insured individual including the individual’s full name (maiden for a married individual), Social Security number, the state where the policy was purchased and a copy of the death certificate.
To avoid lost policies, the Bureau of Insurance encourages Virginians to keep beneficiary information up-to-date; alert beneficiaries of the policy and provide them with the name of the insurance agent and the company that issued the policy; place a current copy of the life insurance policy in a safe and accessible place with wills and estate documents, and ask the insurance company for an annual policy statement if one is not provided.
Under Virginia law, life insurance companies that know that a policyholder has died, but cannot locate the beneficiaries of the policy, are required to turn over the benefits of the policies to the state’s unclaimed property office if the benefits are not claimed after a certain number of years. If you know the state in which the policy was written, check with that state insurance department or the office that handles unclaimed property.
For questions or additional information about the policy locator and other life and health insurance matters, contact the Consumer Services Section of the Virginia Bureau of Insurance Life and Health Division toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit www.scc.virginia.gov/boi.