Losing track of an insurance policy, especially a life insurance policy, can happen to anyone. Whether you’re searching for your own missing policy or assisting a loved one in a similar quest, there are practical steps you can take.
These steps also apply if you’ve recently lost a family member or friend and suspect that you may be the beneficiary of their life insurance but you’re uncertain about the policy’s whereabouts.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of finding a lost life insurance policy, ensuring that you have the information and tools you need during this important journey.
9 Ways to Find a Lost Life Insurance Policy in Canada
When you’re a beneficiary seeking to make a claim, having all the necessary information about the life insurance policy can make the process smooth and straightforward. However, the situation can become stressful if you find you don’t have the insurance policy information. Finding a lost life insurance policy or determining if a loved one had one can be time-consuming and uncertain.
If you’re equipped with all the essential details about a policy and are ready to initiate a claim, ensure you have the policy documents on hand. These documents contain all the vital information you’ll require, including:
- Name of the insurance company
- Contact information for the insurance company
- Policy number
- Death benefit amount
- Name of the beneficiary or beneficiaries
Conversely, if you believe you’re a life insurance policy beneficiary but lack physical or digital copies of the policy documents or are uncertain about your loved one’s insurance status, here are nine valuable tips to help you locate that elusive life insurance policy.
1. Contact Financial Advisors
If the deceased had someone responsible for managing their financial affairs and assets, such as an accountant, banker, estate planner, financial advisor, or lawyer, these professionals may have crucial information regarding the existence of a life insurance policy. They could assist in tracking down the insurance company or, at the very least, provide the insurance policy number.
In the least, anyone who aided the deceased with financial matters should know the insurance company that issued the policy. If the deceased also acquired health or auto insurance through an agent, it’s advisable to contact that agent. They will likely have insights into any additional life insurance policies and their details.
2. Search for Physical Documents
When granted access to the deceased’s personal belongings, you can thoroughly examine their older possessions. Term life insurance policies can extend for up to 20 years, while whole life insurance remains in effect for the entirety of the policyholder’s life. Consequently, the policy documents in question might span several years.
Search diligently within their secure safe, bank safe deposit boxes, personal files, and commonly used storage areas to uncover a copy of the policy documents or any correspondences from the insurance company.
If you happen to find the documents within their bank safe deposit box, be aware that gaining access will typically require a court order. This legal step is necessary to confirm the individual’s passing and establish your authority to access the box’s contents.
3. Search Digital Storage for Digital Copies
In Canada, some insurance companies give policyholders digital and physical copies of their policy documents. If you can access the deceased individual’s laptop or computer, you can search for digital copies of their insurance policy.
Additionally, you should explore any shared storage solutions the deceased may have used or inspect external hard drives they possessed. However, it’s important to note that accessing these files could be challenging if they were password-protected or encrypted.
Another avenue to explore is checking the deceased person’s email account, provided you have the login credentials. If you lack these details, you can reach out to Google’s user support page to submit a request for access to the deceased’s Gmail account.
4. Check Their Banking Records
You can check through the deceased banking records. If the deceased has an existing life insurance policy, their financial statements and bank records will show withdrawals of premium payments.
5. Contact Their Employer
You can contact the deceased’s employer. Some Canadian employers offer their employees access to a free life insurance policy or reduced rates as part of their benefits package.
Some employers offer group life insurance; your loved one might have had one.
6. Go Through Their Income Tax Returns
Another avenue to explore is the deceased’s income tax returns. These documents might contain evidence of dividends received from life insurance companies, shedding light on an existing policy.
7. Member Organizations
If the deceased was affiliated with a union, veterans’ group, or any similar organisation, they might have acquired a life insurance policy through this association.
To trace a potentially lost life insurance policy, consider contacting any organisation where the deceased was a member; they may possess pertinent information about the policy.
8. Contact The Life Insurance Company
If you know the life insurance company that issued the policy, you can contact them directly. When you contact them, be prepared to prove your identity and that the insured has passed away.
Usually, insurance companies in Canada request a death certificate and identity documents to show you are the listed beneficiary. You can use your driver’s license, passport, or SIN to establish your identity.
9. Use Online Free Life Insurance Policy Locator
You can find out if your loved one has a life insurance policy using online search services like the Health Ombud Service.
You can request a life insurance policy to search for a lost policy by clicking the “Find Policy of Deceased” tab.
Who Can Claim a Lost Life Insurance Policy
If a policyholder (insured) passes away, the beneficiary is the person who can file a claim for the insurance policy.
However, a family member, an estate trustee, or a family legal representative can submit a claim to the policy.
Only the designated beneficiaries can receive the death benefits from the insurance policy, regardless of who submits the claim.
To claim an insurance policy, you would need the deceased’s death certificate, the cause of death, the policy number, and a copy of the beneficiary’s driver’s license or any government-issued ID.
Final Thoughts on How To Find a Lost Life Insurance Policy
The death benefit of a life insurance policy is not paid automatically because the insurance company might not know of the insured’s death unless they are notified.
If you are searching for a deceased family member’s lost life insurance policy, or you think you may be a beneficiary of an insurance policy you did not know existed, don’t give up hope.
There are ways on how to find lost life insurance policies in Canada, check if a life insurance policy exists and how to track it down. With the right tools and information, you can get your hands on that policy and be able to claim the provision and protection provided to you by your departed loved ones.
If you know the deceased had a life insurance policy, speak to their legal or financial advisor. Go through their personal files and financial records or contact their employer.
This article has helpful tips for finding a lost life insurance policy in Canada. All the best, and may you find that which you seek.