Would you know how to find a missing insurance policy if your loved one passed away?
Independence attorney Sandra Kelly has helped many a client deal with a loved one’s financial matters after they passed away, but when her own father died of cancer she realized he left some unanswered questions.
“Particularly my brothers were like, ‘You know, I remember him mentioning this policy,’ and we couldn’t find it,” she told Call for Action Reporter Lorrie Taylor.
Kelly was certain there was no such thing as a centralized database for insurance policies but that didn’t stop her from looking.
That’s when she stumbled onto a page at the Ohio Department of Insurance website labeled “Missing Life Insurance Policy Search.”
“I was shocked, I’ve been practicing law over 22 years, I’ve since then talked to a number of probate attorneys that don’t even know this is out there,” said Kelly.
The search page isn’t well publicized and it isn’t easy to find.
The Department lists it under a link entitled, “Consumers… How Do I…”
After clicking on it, visitors will find another link to “Find a Missing Life Insurance Policy.”
It’s on that page where a link can be found to a form.
After filling it out, the form must be notarized and sent to the Department with a certified copy of the loved one’s death certificate.
“It’s completely free, you don’t have to be the executor or executrix, you can just be a family member,” said Kelly.
The Department of Insurance will then contact insurance companies and ask their representatives to search for any policies sold in the state of Ohio.
“We started getting letters from insurance companies that (said), “Yes, in the 1980s your parents bought this particular policy, it lapsed or it was rolled into this policy.’ It was a great resource,” said Kelly.
It turns out Kelly’s father had purchased life insurance of which no one in the family was aware.
They received a check in the mail a short time later.
“The insurance company does not check death certificates and come to you and say, ‘Oh, your loved one has died and we have $50,000,’” she told Taylor.
What once was lost is found again.
Don’t lose money to which you’re entitled simply because you don’t know it’s there.
by Lorrie Taylor, Fox8 Cleveland, Feb. 13, 2012