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Unclaimed Life Insurance

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Mar 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Unclaimed Funds Unclaimed Money

It's perhaps not too surprising that a large number of life insurance policies end up lost or forgotten. In many cases the people who took them out and kept up the payments died and might not have let others know of the policy's existence, for example.

In other cases the policy might have accumulated some value, but the owner might have forgotten it and stopped keeping up payments.

What you'll find, no matter what the situation, is that the unclaimed funds are those of people who've died.

General estimates are that there's £2 billion pounds in unclaimed assets from insurance policies. Compared to unclaimed bank accounts that might be pretty small potatoes, but it's still an awful lot of money.

Finding a Policy

The real trick can be discovering whether a dead relative has a policy with unclaimed funds in it. If they died without a will, there will be no indication, and even those who die with wills can sometimes forget some of their assets.

One possible way to determine the existence of a policy is to look at the person's bank statements to see if regular payments were made to a policy. If you truly believe that a policy existed, try contacting the person's previous employers, if they're still in business, to see if there were any records of deductions, although this could be a decidedly long shot in the case of older people.

If you come across payments to a mutual society, those could be along the lines of an insurance policy, since mutual societies and friendly societies - both now things of the distant past - had savings plans akin to small insurance policies, with low premiums.

Trying to track the mutual society, if you have the name, is actually quite easy. All you need to do is contact the Association of Friendly Societies (www.afs.org.uk). You can also contact the Financial Services Authority, which should have information on mutual and friendly societies, since it grew out of the old Mutual Societies Registration.

Insurance Companies

In some instances you'll be able to readily identify the company with which the person had a policy, and if that's the case you ought to contact them directly, even if you don't have any details about the policy itself.

What if you can't find the name of the company, though? What can you do at that point? You need to contact the Association of British Insurers (www.abi.org.uk), which can try and initiate a search. If you know even part of the company's name, the ABI site has a search facility to help you locate the company, including contact details - their site is the ideal place to find contact details for all insurance companies.

The Biggest Problem

Your greatest challenge, and the reason so many policies go unclaimed, could simply be locating a policy. With so many companies in existence (and many more no longer around), you'll need to be able to find a certain amount of information first, and the further back you go, the harder that could be.

However, if you have the time and energy, as well as access to the deceased's records, the payoff might well end up being worth your time.

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[Add a Comment]
My husband died 7yrs ago but I've not claimed his life insurance I know who he was with but don't have any paper work
Shirl - 18-Mar-19 @ 9:39 AM
Hi I believe from my deceased fathers ex partner that he had a life insurance policy but have never heard anything else regarding this matter could you help
Jay - 18-Mar-19 @ 8:56 AM
My Sister died 3 months ago and lived 100 miles away.We tried to clear her house and all but there were a few people that had keys.I know she had two bank accounts but only one that i could find so i froze that one.since she died people have been asking me as next of kin for documents and copy of her death certificate.today someone did and said there was a bill that my sis had put in this persons name and i need to send all documentation and a death certificate.I am finding this wierd as i have told through the government that she passed and then there should be no debts.I wasnt there when she died but was there in two days and friends haha had taken her car her food and who knows what else.The so called friend that i have known for 20 odd years took her car and documents out of her house.i think ive been spun a web of lies just cos i am am an honest person who trusts people thinking they will be nice.not so sure now and would like to see if my sis had a life policy in her married yet divorced name or her maiden name.help please
rosygirl4 - 3-Dec-18 @ 10:37 PM
my father was declared bankrupt in the lateeighty's my late mother was advised by the skipton building society to take some sort of insurance out to get a mortgage a women from the leeds area who had a office in leeds advised her as the skipton building society recommend herto her to take out this policy she paid 4000 pound in to it after the local bank manger saw it he said it was a waste of time and to stop payments as it was no good to get a mortgage is what they did i have tried to trace this money but i dont no the company that had it a good few year ago a man came to see her and told the company that had it a doing with had been taken other she coudnt draw the money out but could pay more in she said it was with target lifebut i have drawn a blank as cant find any details about this policy and no body seems to no when i do a search any help would be appreciated as she has since died thanks jim
jim - 2-Dec-18 @ 6:50 PM
My dad took out a life insurance policy in 1988 with the lady he was living with, they parted company a long time ago & he can not remember if the policy was canceled or not, also the citicorp who the policy was with are no longer around, can somebody please give me some advise on how to deal with the policy.
Karen - 4-Oct-18 @ 3:10 PM
My dad passed away 18 years ago and we have been having a bedroom clear out and we have found some life insurance policies and pensions policies I was just wonderingif we are eligible to any cash from them? As I have all the documents I look forward to hearing from you Regards Marcia
Blondy - 27-Jun-18 @ 10:11 AM
My partner's father died 4 years ago, he had more than adequate insurance with the Co-op prior to his death however apparently died with no insurance. This may have been claimed by another family member, unfortunately my partner has no policy numbers and the Co-op are being unhelpful and I have recently found out that they were still taking payments for months after the man's death. Is there a central body for Life insurance where he can find if any policies were paid out when his Father died, or possibly still to be paid? Thank you for any information
Hope - 5-Jun-18 @ 11:23 AM
My father passed away 3 years he didn't had a will but want I do know he had a life insurance that he was in for about 30 or 40 how can I find his policy H mulcare
Kizzyd123 - 20-Feb-18 @ 9:03 AM
Andy- Your Question:
Hi my nan as past away last year and I have been told she had no claim to life Insurance when I know she did the company she had her claim with sent a letter to day the claim was endend a mouth befor she died and the is no money to be payed out

Our Response:
If your nan cancelled the policy, then the cancellation means she would have lost the protection the cover offers.
UnclaimedFinances - 5-Feb-18 @ 12:30 PM
Hi my nan as past away last year and I have been told she had no claim to life Insurance when I know she did the company she had her claim with sent a letter to day the claim was endend a mouth befor she died and the is no money to be payed out
Andy - 3-Feb-18 @ 7:58 PM
Hi, my father passed away 22 years ago and I’m Just finding out he took out life insurance. The documents and policy details were lost. And I am the sole beneficiary. How do I claim this? Please reply as I am desperate to know how to go about things. Thank you
Jojo - 10-Jan-18 @ 2:46 AM
Hi I was wondering if anyone could help .my grandmother took life policy,s out for all her kids going with what my dead auntie told me there one out there for my mother all my mums parents & sisters & brothers have all past away now & mum has dementia all I know is that she has a policy with co,op insurance and no one wants to help me .iv been mums carer for 10 years now and she's getting to the point now I'm worrying how I'm going to pay for her funeral .I have asked on the phone to the copritve to ask them about mums policy and they told me I couldn't do nothing and they can't help without policy number can anyone Help please x
millzyone66 - 12-Aug-17 @ 10:53 PM
I'm an only child and I lost my mother last year and my father passed away in March both neither of them left a will. Everything was in probate which is now done. But I think they may have life insurance but after checking the solicitor said it was house insurance. How can I get more information on this and possibly their pensions. Many thanks
Dmac1966 - 25-Jul-17 @ 3:00 PM
Hi, My father passed away in June 5 years ago I he may of had life insurance. If he did have life insurance, am I able to claim it now - 5 years on? Thanks for any help/advice
Bhav - 20-Jul-17 @ 11:15 AM
Hi I have been told that I have been left 50,000 in an insurance policy by a deseased relative I have his death certificate but no paperwork please can you advise
Delly - 8-May-17 @ 6:02 PM
Hi my sister passed away last year i ddnt know all her insurances i want to check if she has any insurance with old mutual
maboni - 17-Apr-17 @ 9:23 AM
My mother has just found an insurance policy which my mam took out in 1953 for my dad. He passed away in 1984. How do we find the insurance company The prudential assurance company ltr to claim his insurance? Will be much appreciated
Dee - 8-Feb-17 @ 5:52 PM
My father passed away late last year at the age of 95. I was track down by a life companyabout a small unpaid pension from Fords who he worked for in the early seventies for a couple of years He moved several times after he left the company. They made a small lump sum payment to me and my brother. There must of been other occupational pensions that he paid into. I know a few companies he worked for is it worth chasing them up?
Phil - 13-Jul-16 @ 11:57 AM
I have found three policies in my mother's name taken out at different dates.I have policies and books of record payments until a certain date. They were after that made paid up policies payable at death. As I have just recently found these, and my mum Joan Douglas died in 1998, I am wondering if they are redeemable. I also have a third one with no records except the original certificate. There are also two tabken out on me and paid for 11 years but don't know if that is long enough to be claimable as it was stopped being paid when we emigrated to Australia. These policies were paid weekly and I have the signed payment books. What do I do about this?Helen Andrews, daughter.
Jack - 26-May-16 @ 7:44 AM
kookygalx - Your Question:
Dad recently passed away. Has been paying nearly £10 month life insuranc by direct debit to aig Europe ltd for god knows how many years. I can't find no documents at this moment. Phoned them up. They said no payout as it was accidental cover only. I would have thought accidental would have been an additional cover not the only cover. He wasn't ever at any risk for that. Any way my question is. How can I be sure this is the right information. Can I ask for a copy of the policy. Seems odd. My dad just wouldn't pay that amount every month for accidental cover only. Any ideas please

Our Response:
The insurers should give you a copy on request it is for probate purposes.
UnclaimedFinances - 14-Apr-16 @ 10:09 AM
Dad recently passed away. Has been paying nearly £10 month life insuranc by direct debit to aig Europe ltd for god knows how many years. I can't find no documents at this moment. Phoned them up. They said no payout as it was accidental cover only. I would have thought accidental would have been an additional cover not the only cover. He wasn't ever at any risk for that. Any way my question is. How can I be sure this is the right information. Can I ask for a copy of the policy. Seems odd. My dad just wouldn't pay that amount every month for accidental cover only. Any ideas please
kookygalx - 13-Apr-16 @ 4:01 AM
Cliffy - Your Question:
My mum past 3 years ago her husband past 12 months after auntie received a life insurance letter stating mother had life insurance put she threw the letter away got nothing left of my mum only a birth and death certificate us there anyway I could find out from somewhere if she has life insurance please help

Our Response:
In addition to the advice in this article, please see the Which site here for more details.
UnclaimedFinances - 13-Jan-16 @ 2:57 PM
My mum past 3 years ago her husband past 12 months after auntie received a life insurance letter stating mother had life insurance put she threw the letter away got nothing left of my mum only a birth and death certificate us there anyway I could find out from somewhere if she has life insurance please help
Cliffy - 13-Jan-16 @ 1:38 PM
my father died five yrs ago .He had his sister insured she died two months ago.We have the policy in our possession can we claim this .
rockie - 6-Jan-16 @ 3:38 PM
hommeperdu - Your Question:
28 yrs ago, I took a an endowment policy with Standard life when buying my house and took up a life insurance and critical illness with AXA(now Friendslife).I recalled the payment from Standard life at the end of term but did not realised I had another one with Friendlife which supposedly paid out during the first week of october 2013. I do not have any recollection of the lump sum of over 28K from Friendlife. I am 65yrs old and not sure if it is my memory as I have good memory when it come s to large sum of money? Cant understand how I would spend two large sum of money. How can I find out if payment was made as I have moved my bank account from RBS 18months ago. I have the document/policy from Friendlife but did not keep the one from standard life.

Our Response:
You would need to contact both companies directly. As a rule most companies will pay the matured finances into the account the monthly payments are debited from. You could look at one of your bank statements and get some information frmo there. Your bank may be able to help locate where they payments are being made to.
UnclaimedFinances - 23-Nov-15 @ 12:58 PM
28 yrs ago, i took a an endowment policy with Standard life when buying my house and took up a life insurance and critical illness with AXA(now Friendslife). I recalled the payment from Standard life at the end of term but did not realised i had another one with Friendlife which supposedly paid out during the first week of october 2013. I do not have any recollection of the lump sum of over 28K from Friendlife. I am 65yrs old and not sure if it is my memory as i have good memory when it come s to large sum of money? Cant understand how i would spend two large sum of money. How can i find out if payment was made as i have moved my bank account from RBS 18months ago. I have the document/policy from Friendlife but did not keep the one from standard life.
hommeperdu - 22-Nov-15 @ 8:11 PM
My Father has received a letter from an insurance company regarding a life insurance policy for his Mother (she died over 15 years ago). When her will was read, he had been written out and everything had been left to his 5 siblings. They all agreed to split their share, only 2 did. The insurance company are asking for details of executors, beneficiaries, he is neither. I have told him just to burn the letter as he's unlikely to receive anything. What would you advise?
S68 - 24-Oct-15 @ 2:04 PM
My father died 3 years ago we could not find any of the paper work he left any way we have just found out an insurance man went to my old address but who they spoke to did not ask who they was from but they wanted me and had a pay out from my father how can I find out what insurance company they was from please help
Dale - 23-Oct-15 @ 8:58 PM
Debbie - Your Question:
Hi my father died some years ago and he was so up to date with everything. But we could never find a life insurance which we know he would of had. Don't know how to find out. We also know he will of had payed up policy. Could you helpKind regards

Our Response:
You could try via the gov.uk link here. I hope this helps.
UnclaimedFinances - 23-Oct-15 @ 2:51 PM
Hi my father died some years ago and he was so up to date with everything. But we could never find a life insurance which we know he would of had. Don't know how to find out. We also know he will of had payed up policy. Could you help Kind regards
Debbie - 22-Oct-15 @ 9:04 PM
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