Residents of the state are being advised to use an official tool to check if they are owed money.
In 2017, residents of California received $17.3 million from lost life insurance benefits. This is a striking reminder to Californians to find out whether they might be beneficiaries of lost policies.
Everyone who received the money the benefits last year did not realize they were a life insurance beneficiary.
Not knowing that you are due life insurance benefits is quite common. This means that many people are due substantial sums of money without receiving it as soon as they could. To combat this problem, the California Department of Insurance launched its Life Insurance Policy Locator for the state a few years ago. Since the feature first began, it has identified over $33.8 million in life insurance policy payouts that may never otherwise have been claimed.
“This policy locator has made a meaningful difference in thousands of Californians’ lives,” said Dave Jones, the California Insurance Commissioner, in a prepared statement. This tool allows Californians to go online and find out if death benefits are owed to them. “This tool efficiently connects consumers with lost policies and money they’re owed,” added Jones.
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Across the US, almost 25,000 people have been identified as being owed $368 million in life insurance benefits.
California’s Life Insurance Policy Locator can be used for free. It is meant to help users to conduct a search through the records of deceased life insurance policyholders, as well as benefactors of bank accounts, income tax records and safe deposit boxes. This means that even if those benefactors never told the beneficiaries about those policies and other records, there is still a way for Californians to discover if something of this nature has been left to them.
“Prior to utilizing this service, you are required to conduct a diligent search of the deceased person’s records,” points out the official website of the California Department of Insurance. Californians who discover records of a life insurance policy but cannot find the insurer that offered it can contact a California consumer hotline (1-800-927-4357) instead of the website.