November 3, 2011
Missouri Department of Insurance offers help finding lost life insurance policies
State regulators connect consumers with hundreds of life insurance companies
Jefferson City, Mo. - "My mother had a life insurance policy, but I don't have a copy - I don't even know the name of the insurance company."
It's a common situation for consumers who contact the Missouri Department of Insurance and senior centers across the state. And for the first time, consumers have a way to contact licensed life insurance companies in Missouri to find information on deceased loved ones.
The Department of Insurance has created the Life Policy Locator service that will help consumers find lost life insurance policies or annuity contracts purchased in Missouri. The department will collect information from consumers, then send it electronically each month to licensed life insurance companies in Missouri.
"This program is technology at its best - we are helping connect consumers with life insurance and annuity benefits that they are entitled to receive," said Missouri Insurance Director John M. Huff. "Hard-copy mailings to Missouri's life insurance industry each month would be unaffordable and unmanageable. This project is possible only because of our online technology that connects us to major life insurers."
People who believe they are beneficiaries, as well as executors and legal representatives can file a search request form with the Department of Insurance. Completed forms should be notarized and include a copy of the original death certificate before being mailed to the department.
Requests will be forwarded to Missouri-licensed life insurance companies each month. Insurance companies will then contact the beneficiary if a policy is located.
If the person making the request is not legally entitled to information about the life insurance policy or annuity, the insurance company will not make contact with that person. However, the company will begin a search for the beneficiaries named on the policy.
Consumers and insurance companies with questions about the Life Policy Locator can contact the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.
About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration
The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.