WESTWOOD, Mass., Dec. 12, 2005 — A lost or missing life insurance policy can create major problems when handling the affairs of a decedent. Hidden policy benefits may exist, but looking beyond the decedent’s personal papers to the industry at large can be a daunting task. The Policy Locator Service(TM), provided by e-Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the MIB Group, Inc., may help the surviving spouse, next of kin, or the decedent’s legal representative track down unknown or lost life insurance policies.
The key to the service is MIB’s industry-wide database. MIB’s nearly 500 member companies write approximately 95 percent of all premium dollars for individually underwritten life insurance in the United States and Canada. The Policy Locator Service database records the submission of an application to MIB’s fraud detection service. It is that application activity that can lead consumers to discover the existence of lost or unknown policies. The Policy Locator database currently contains over 120 million records representing applications processed during the last 10 years; over 10 million records are added annually.
“There is no central database of in-force life insurance policies in North America,” says MIB Vice President Robert DiAngelo. “MIB’s role in fraud detection puts us at the hub of the life insurance underwriting process, giving consumers a quick, easy, reliable way to determine if a deceased loved one had applied for life insurance.” To protect the confidentiality of the decedent’s financial records, Policy Locator Service strictly limits use of this unique service to surviving spouses, family members, and legal representatives who are authorized to seek information about the decedent’s assets. The service provides an authorized individual with the name and contact information of the insurance company(ies) to which the decedent applied for coverage and may have been issued a policy so they can follow up with the company(ies).
“When my brother passed away I searched the Internet for a list of the various insurance companies and quickly realized I needed a search company to get this done. Only Policy Locator had the breadth of industry data and search expertise needed to maximize my chances,” states a satisfied user. “Sure enough, I received notice of an application, followed up with the company and discovered an in-force policy existed. This service gave me exactly the information I was looking for.”
To use the Policy Locator Service, a decedent’s surviving spouse, next of kin, or legal representative must submit an application form along with a certified copy of the death certificate. The cost for a search is $75 US. “We are generally able to respond to requests within 10 business days,” says DiAngelo. The Policy Locator Service can also provide information about merged or purchased companies, so consumers can identify and contact the successor to the original insurance company.
“The life insurance industry wants policy beneficiaries to receive the money owed them. The proceeds of unclaimed policies revert or ‘escheat’ to the state. Our Policy Locator Service helps make sure that the people who are supposed to benefit from a policy actually do so,” says DiAngelo. More information about the service is available at the Web site http://www.policylocator.com.
About MIB Group, Inc.
MIB, Group, Inc., headquartered in Westwood, Massachusetts, is a not-for-profit membership corporation that has served the life insurance industry for over 100 years by detecting and deterring fraud in the procurement of life, health, disability, and long-term-care insurance. e-Services Corporation is the sales, marketing, and product development division of the MIB Group, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.mib.com.