Is There a Time Limit on Policies to be Claimed?
Q.My mother passed away 8 years ago. My mother had a policy that and I have since found out if unclaimed after 6 years, cannot be claimed. Is this right?
A lot depends on the type of unclaimed money you mean, really. As a general rule of thumb, if you can prove it’s yours, then there’s no time limit on which you can claim the money. This is certainly true with banks. The account might go dormant if not used in three years, but the funds can still be accessed. Although there are government plans to take money unclaimed after 15 years as use it for good works, if anyone turned up with a valid claim after that time they’d still be able to take their money.
Since you say your mother had a policy, you’re probably talking about a life insurance policy, however. There are plenty of unclaimed life insurance policies out there – about £2 billion worth, according to estimates.
First thing, you need to establish whether the company still exists, or if it’s been swallowed up by another. If you can’t locate the insurance company immediately, then contact the Association of British Insurers (their web address is www.abi.org.uk). They will be able to search their records and locate the company for you, and they also have contact details for all existing insurance companies.
When you contact the company, you’ll obviously need to present the policy, proof of your own identity, and – especially important – the right you have to have to the policy, which will mean producing your mother’s will to indicate she left it to you.
From there it should be plain sailing, allowing some time for the wheels of bureaucracy to grind of course, but within a few months you should have the money from the policy, assuming all the papers are in order.
Your question, though, is about time limits. In most instances, there are no limits on the time you have to make a claim on unclaimed funds. However, exceptions do exist under some circumstances, although there’s no obvious reason why they should apply in your case. The best advice to offer is to begin your claim immediately and push it along as quickly as possible. In all likelihood there will be no problem with your claim at all.