Home > Pensions & Insurance > Unclaimed Life Insurance

Unclaimed Life Insurance

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 12 Aug 2017 | 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
i believe strongly that someone i know opened a life insurance account on my name and my kids name and my ex husband name,and this people tar getting me and my family 24/7 with electromagnetic energy weapon,and they wanting us to die outside of the uk,so they can have an easy access with they bogus connections to claime the money after we died,this where how can i search if a life insurance account been oppend on my name?? thanks
hannah - 19-Oct-15 @ 5:20 PM
@Dougey - you probably need to get in touch with the company direct. As far as I can see it is still in existance, if you search online for Irish Life. As far as ensuring your direct debits are going out of your account, it really is up to you to insure you are on top of payments. However, I would have thought they would have attempted to get in touch. I imagine they may have that detail on their records whether they tried contact you or not. It also might feature in the terms and conditions of your contract regarding what the protocol is if a direct debit is stopped.
UnclaimedFinances - 4-Dec-14 @ 11:04 AM
I took out an endowment mortgage in October 1983 with assurance element through Irish Life. After a few years I transferred to a different branch of my bank along with all direct debits/standing orders, etc. I realised after a good few years that the direct debit to Irish Life had not been getting paid and the Company had never informed me! The property was later sold but although I believe that there maybe a sum still around, I understand that Irish Life does not exist now? I would be grateful for any advice please.
Dougey - 3-Dec-14 @ 5:11 PM
@rato? Have you got any documentation? If so, do you know what company it was? Apart from the advice the article gives it is difficult to advise what further action you might be able to take in order to trace any pension, as you have only given a brief amount of information.
UnclaimedFinances - 7-Nov-14 @ 2:22 PM
Need to know if my father's who died in 1984"s pension was paid as myself and my sister never got anythind
rato - 7-Nov-14 @ 6:53 AM
My Mother Died Last August she told me she had a life ins as she said she is well covered but after her passing we look but unable to find it I know she add one ,and it was paid right up well before she died she was 94 year old but had a good head on her shoulders I know its right as I did see it few weeks before but took no notice ofit at that time .but I have searched but not found itSo how do we go about this matter??? not sure who withmay be Co -op or Pru Hope you can help Thank you Mr C E Duffy
duffyduck - 11-Feb-14 @ 9:44 PM
My father died recently and he had said he had a life insurance policy.However after his death nothing in his paper work showed.I know my father and he would have had life cover so how do I find it??? His name was Frank George Henry Glover. can you help me
chicken - 5-Oct-13 @ 5:52 PM
My grand father left us a policie till 21 I am 35 now and grandad is decieced 30 years ago
bertie - 3-Oct-13 @ 10:20 AM
Find the topic on Occupational Pension Schemes confusing, can you help me in confirming whether as an early leaver from a scheme due to leaving employment that the life insurance I took out with this policy will still be valid and pay out on my death? I am unable to contribute to the policy as not in employment now so the policy is inactive.
Rachx - 18-Jan-12 @ 8:25 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the UnclaimedFinances website. Please read our Disclaimer.