Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits

All the troubles lie on his shoulder by Rana Ossama
Feeling lost?
It's actually easy to search
for your unclaimed benefits.
Photo by Rana Ossama

According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, 22 per cent of the people who request a search for lost life insurance policies find one, and in about 25 per cent of those cases, the policies had actually been surrendered for their cash value or simply lapsed. However, the rest revealed unclaimed benefit amounts ranging from $3,500 to $210,000.

The search is free to undertake, but there is a time limit. You only have a window of three months to two years following the death of the potentially insured to conduct the search. In order to avoid hunting for a life insurance policy when your loved one dies, make sure they know what life insurance policies are still active in their lives and that you know too.

When it's time to finally make the life insurance claim, there are a few things you will need to prove that the death of the insured has actually occurred:

  • The original death certificate of the policyholder or a certified copy
  • An identification document proving you are the beneficiary
  • A working knowledge of the policy, so you know your options for payment

Once all of the appropriate documentation is collected, each beneficiary will need to fill out their own individual proof of claim form to the death certificate, and you'll receive your payout in about a week. In the event that there are multiple life insurance policies naming you beneficiary, make sure you do your research because unless a claim is made, these policies will not pay out.

When it comes to group plans, contact the employer as to how to proceed. If your loved one had a mortgage life insurance policy, contact the bank that offered the policy to them. 

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One Comment

  1. melanie 05/10/2013 at 3:53 pm

    Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

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