What Happens When You Lose The Policy Documents?
It’s not uncommon to lose track of your insurance policies. Afterall, unlike cars, life insurance can understandably be forgotten since some people may have it in force for 10, 20 or more years. After years of child raising, purchasing a house and any other major milestones, the login information or hard copy documents may get lost in the shuffle of life.
Given the fact that the insured is typically the one paying for the premium, many beneficiaries may be unaware of the coverage or be in a situation where they are unsure of what to do next should a payout be available.
Albeit there being systems in place for the insurers to locate the beneficiaries in the event where the insured has passed on, here are some tricks for you to track down a lost policy should tragedy strike.
Credit Card Statements
If the policy is still in force, that means the policyholder have been paying for the premiums religiously. Simply look through the transaction records in their credit card or bank statements, be it hardcopy or electronic version.
Search the monthly transactions for clues on the insurance company, where you can then contact the customer service or claims department of said insurer. If you do not have the policy number, there are always other types of information available for identifying the policy, such as the NRIC, date of birth or phone number etc.
If you cannot find a single record in their financial transaction there are still several factors working in your favour. Usually, when insurers learn of the policyholder’s death, they have procedures in place to search for the beneficiaries.
Speak to your family advisor
Do you have a family advisor? If not, do you know the contact number of the advisor or the name of the insurer the advisor is working for? If your loved one has a whole life policy, it provides them with life-long protection, and contain a savings or investment element which allows them to accumulate cash value; where the latter usually involves monitoring and management from a professional. Hence, what this means is that they probably worked with a financial advisor to manage their financial portfolio and thus, speaking to the advisor would be able to give you a better idea of what the financial portfolio of your loved one might be.
Ways to avoid losing track of a policy
Nothing can be more heartbreaking or stressful than the death of a loved one. There are many steps you can take now to ensure a smooth sailing journey for your beneficiary if anything ever happens to you.
Talk about it
Insurance touches on topics such as finances and death, which might be sensitive for some people, hence they tend to put off these discussions till it’s too late. It is important to note that these are important conversations as it will expedite the process of a claim should anything happened to you and those who matter to you needed the payout urgently. Start by talking to your family about your coverage so they know what insurer you have chosen and how to file a claim.
As with any other important documents and logins, an individual should keep their insurance policies in a central, secure and organized location for their spouse or beneficiaries. While some may adopt the pen-and-paper approach by writing down policy numbers and storing the documents in a folder for safekeeping; others may prefer maintaining and storing up-to-date passwords and policy documents in their laptops.
Your preferred method is not as important as simply ensuring that you have some sort of organized way for your family members to easily access the accounts and assets if something were to happen to you. Also, do remember to update your information regularly.
People prefer life insurance policies because of the peace of mind they offer to them. Knowing that you have already put measures in place to financially protect your family, you no longer have to worry about how your family would survive when the unthinkable happens.
So if you have policy in force, or thinking of getting coverage, tell your beneficiary. Hopefully they will never need to use it, but at least both of you have the peace of mind in knowing it’s there.
A death in the immediate family creates a chaotic environment, especially if the death was unexpected. So what would happen if, despite your best intentions, your beneficiary forgot about your policy and didn’t file a claim?
Consider downloading the Ottermise app which is now available for free on both App Store and Play Store. When both you and your loved ones download the app, what you can first do is to either manually key in your current financial portfolios or simply add them in by taking a photo. This essentially eliminates the problem that some people face when a loved one passed on, which is the case of the missing policy documents. Thereafter, what you can do is to share your portfolio with them to keep them in the loop, to prevent further distress and confusion when tragedy happens. Give it a try now by going to the respective stores now to download the app Ottermise!