The first step in locating paid-up insurance policies is to find any evidence of the policy’s existence. For example, search for any canceled checks, receipts, and old policy payment books that will be aiding in ascertaining the name of the life insurance provider and the policy number. It may be beneficial to check the local yellow pages for insular life insurance companies and determine which companies sold term payment whole life policies, such as 20 year paid- up policies, during the family member’s life time. Ask relatives or friends for information regarding the names of any local insurance companies or insurance companies the person or relative may have referenced or utilized for indemnification.
Sometimes, older insurance companies may have experienced a change of ownership and a subsequent name change. A government agency that can supply significant and consequential identifying information is the State Board of Insurance. This agency can provide critical information, such as the company name, executive officer, address, and the customer relations telephone number that may be propitious. Examine the companies’ websites to delimit whether the company provided insurance service in the relative’s area or had a local branch office in the municipality.
The State Board of Insurance will contact the companies by phone and in writing requesting information on the policy. It is important to provide as much identifying information as possible, such as the name of the insured, maiden name, date of birth, and the possible policy origination location.
When the policy is found, the insurer’s actuarial department will calculate the cash valuation by multiplying the stated worth for the number of years the policy has been in force by the number of units (one unit = 1,000), the calculation is (value for #years in force x units). If there was an encumbrance or policy loan issued against the cash value, the loan principal, and all accrued annually compounded interest assessments; will be deducted from the cash value and the remaining amount will be paid to the owner. If the policyholder is deceased, an official death certificate is required; after evaluation and review, a cheque will be issued for the face amount, less any outstanding loan and interest, to the designated beneficiary.
If the name of the insurance company is available, it is not difficult to locate paid-up insurance policies. However, if there has been a change of ownership or a computerized data conversion it may be more arduous and require additional research. It is possible to find these policies with diligent effort and assistance from the State Board of Insurance and the insurance companies in order to receive rightful compensation.