Monday, March 28, 2011

The New York Times on Unclaimed Life Insurance Proceeds

It's a little dated, but The New York Times ran an article by Paul Sullivan a few weeks ago on unclaimed life insurance proceeds, and the difficulties that some beneficiaries encounter in trying to find information regarding a deceased loved one's benefits.  While the problem is certainly a familiar one to those in the unclaimed property business, the numbers reported are still staggering.  According to the article, "New York has received $400,287,736 in unclaimed life insurance property since 2000" with one account being worth approximately $1.7 million.

Of course, while holders have many responsibilities relating to the custody, reporting and remittance of unclaimed property, the first line of defense is always a well-educated owner.  Accordingly, holders seeking to limit amounts being turned over as unclaimed property should consider encouraging customers to regularly update their contact information and to place life insurance documentation in a place where it is likely to be discovered by an executor.


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  2. I recently read this article and enjoyed it.

    A life insurers’ trade group says that beneficiaries receive about $60 billion annually, undermining estimates that 25 percent of policies go unclaimed. The key point is that life insurers are holding consumers’ money – and lots of it. They’ll pay it out, but only after a claim is made for the benefits.

    - Tom from