Braintree, MA. (March 24, 2009) – A lost or missing life insurance policy can create major headaches when handling a decedent’s affairs. For estate, probate and trust attorneys, it can be a matter of meeting their fiduciary responsibilities to identify all such policies as they help settle an estate.
MIB’s Policy Locator Service (www.policylocator.com) can help uncover whether such policies exist. “There is no central database of in-force life insurance policies in North America,” said Lee Oliphant, Executive Vice President of MIB Solutions. “However, MIB’s industry-wide database can report if an insurer took a policy application for the individual and submitted a query to our fraud detection service. It’s that activity that can help point the way to the company or companies that might have issued a life insurance policy. And since MIB member companies underwrite the vast majority of all individually underwritten life insurance policies in the United States and Canada, the chances are good that we can point attorneys and consumers in the right direction to locate a missing policy.”
“We started the service in 2004, making it available to surviving spouses, family members and legal representatives authorized to seek information about a decedent’s assets. However, we recently began actively marketing the service to estate attorneys to alert them to a service that might provide major assistance in helping them meet their legal responsibilities. Since the service began, we’ve found application activity on roughly 30 percent of our inquiries – and in many cases, we found that coverage had been requested from more than one company.”
MIB’s Policy Locator database currently contains more than 170 million records representing applications processed during the last 13 years. More than 10 million new records are added annually. The service also helps attorneys and consumers trace life policies to the correct insurance company in cases where the original insurance company issuing a policy has “disappeared” due to its merger into a successor or surviving company. Policy Locator provides authorized individuals with the name and contact information of the insurance company or companies to which the decedent applied for coverage.
“The Policy Locator Service doesn’t guarantee that a policy has been issued,” Oliphant said. “But it does point people to the companies that are most likely to have issued coverage.” To use the Policy Locator Service, a decedent’s surviving spouse, next-of-kin or legal representative must submit an application form with a certified copy of the death certificate. Cost of a search is $75 US, and responses usually are returned within ten business days. “The Policy Locator Service helps ensure that the people who are supposed to benefit from a policy can actually do so,” Oliphant said. “It points them in the right direction for tracking down policies that can provide financial security at a difficult time.”
More information about the Policy Locator Service and search applications are available at www.policylocator.com.
About MIB Solutions
MIB Solutions, Inc. markets products that help insurance companies make better underwriting and risk management decisions. Its offerings include products that reduce applicant fraud for health plans, insurers and life reinsurers; products that enhance underwriting productivity and enterprise risk management; and actuarial analytics that provide an industry-wide perspective for compliance and business decisions. For more information, visit www.mibsolutions.com. MIB Solutions, Inc. is a subsidiary of the MIB Group, Inc.
About MIB Group
MIB Group, Inc. is the premier provider of Internet-based information and knowledge services to the risk management market in North