The Texas Department of Insurance is offering a new resource, called the Life Policy Locator Service, which can be immensely critical in helping those named as beneficiaries to claim what is rightly owed to them.
It has been common for confusion to result when a relative passes on and the designated beneficiary might not know the name of the insurance company issuing the policy or other binding agreement. This can result in unclaimed benefits for those entitled to claims. Now the executor can search for a lost annuity contract or insurance policy on the insurance website.
The department has stated it will take each request and forward it to the insurance companies who are licensed and participating in the program. They forward the requests up to thirty days from when the request is initiated. Companies will search their databases records to see if there is a policy in the name of the deceased. They then attempt to determine if the policy the person named is the beneficiary.
There are currently almost 30 insurance companies in the state of Texas who are voluntarily participating in the locator service. They have provided some tips to help locate a lost policy or contract for a beneficiary, including examining bank statements that track payments to life insurance companies. Checking other records is facilitated with the use of records and notes in smart phones.
According to law, if a policy’s beneficiaries are not located within three years, the insurance company must send the death benefit to the state as part of an unclaimed property fund. This, unfortunately, happens quite a bit so it is a good idea to stay current with records. In order to receive more information about this, it would be wise to go to the web page of the comptroller to study the area in which they list unclaimed property or benefits.
The death of a loved one can be heart-rending. Being able to carry out the final wishes of a family member or close friend who has designated a heir or beneficiary can be greatly facilitated by availing oneself of this new Texas insurance department law.
Source: timesrecordnews.com, “Think you’re an heir? Ask the state” No author given, Oct. 24, 2013