26 Sep 2023

How to Find Lost Life Insurance

If someone close to you has passed away, finding the life insurance policy of the deceased is understandably not going to be the first thing on your mind. But with up to £2 billion in unclaimed life insurance policies lying dormant, it’s crucial that you know where to locate a life insurance policy. And as we’ll explain, finding lost life insurance policies may require a little detective work.

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What is an unclaimed life insurance policy?

An unclaimed life insurance policy is where a named beneficiary is yet to make a claim for a following the death of the insured person. Sometimes insurance is unclaimed if the beneficiary has simply forgotten about a policy, or lost the details, or in some cases the policyholder may no longer have any living relatives.

What happens to an unclaimed life insurance policy?

You can make a claim on a life insurance policy at any point during the length of the policy.

If someone dies in England and Wales and nobody claims their estate, the estate is known as being held under ‘Bona Vacantia’ which ultimately means the Crown. In practice the assets of the estate are transferred to the Bona Vacantia Department of the government which keeps a register of assets under its control.

How do you find out if a deceased person had life insurance?

Sorting through paperwork is always an unenviable task, but it may not be as hard as you think to find the life insurance policy of a deceased person. But how else can you find lost insurance policies for free? The good news is that there’s more than one way.

You should start by looking at the deceased person’s bank statements to find out whether they were paying a regular life insurance premium. If they were, the statement should also reveal the name of the insurance company receiving the payments.

If the deceased had an accountant or a legal adviser, it would also be a good idea to contact them, as they may be able to point you in the right direction and provide some further details.

How to find the deceased's life insurance provider

If you’ve been able to confirm from the bank statements that the deceased had a life insurance policy, and you know which company provided it, you should try contacting the provider directly to make sure it’s still valid. Even if you’re missing the specific details of the policy itself, they should be able to track down the policy if you provide key information about the account holder.

What happens to unclaimed life insurance if the insurer no longer exists?

If you’re trying to make a claim on a lost life insurance policy and you believe the provider no longer exists, you should first check that the name of the life insurance company hasn’t changed, which could otherwise cause some confusion.

if you think the deceased person’s life insurance provider no longer exists, it’s possible that the insured person was issued with a like-for-like replacement policy, or provided with a refund. You can find out more on the FSCS website. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme exists to protect customers of financial services firms that have failed. So if the company that the deceased was dealing with has failed and can’t pay claims, they can step in to pay compensation.

Other ways to find unclaimed life insurance for free

If you’re still drawing a blank after looking for an unclaimed life insurance policy, there are other inventive ways you could locate ‘lost’ life insurance.

Firstly, friendly and mutual societies could offer another potential avenue in terms of finding lost life insurance policies for free.

While many of these organisations have undergone mergers and demutualisation since their 19th and 20th century heyday, it’s not as difficult as you might expect to track down defunct societies. For example:

The Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM) looks after the interests of remaining mutuals and their members, and they offer help in tracking down lost insurance policies on their Tracing a Society page.

You can search AFM’s list of members and their register of closed societies to find details of societies past and present, and who now owns their assets.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) can help you find the contact information of many UK insurance companies on its searchable member database. This database will also help you to find insurance companies that have merged, changed their name, or been taken over by other companies.

If you’re still looking for answers, the Financial Conduct Authority should be your next stop, where you’ll find the searchable Mutuals Public Register, a public record of mutual societies both currently and no longer registered.

We’ve covered how to find lost life insurance policies for free, but it’s worth knowing that some firms offer a paid service to try and help you locate unclaimed policies. This might be worth considering if you do not have details of the policy or know the name of the insurance provider. Bear in mind that fees may vary, and results are not guaranteed.

Have you considered your own life insurance?

Finding lost life insurance is no easy feat, but that doesn’t mean your own cover arrangements have to be quite so stressful. Everyone has different individual circumstances, but our comprehensive life insurance could help provide you with some peace of mind.

Why not discover what our life insurance could offer you?

Want to learn more about Life Insurance?

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