Unclaimed Insurance Policy amount: How to locate, find & claim it?
Unclaimed money is money from lost bank accounts, shares, investments and life insurance policies. Are you aware that Unclaimed investments of around Rs 40,000 Crores are lying with financial institutions like Banks
Some people, maintain records of their investments and some people just ignore / forget about their investments. Some others, do not even let their family members know about their investments, including details of their life insurance policies.
There are chances that your investments become lost when you move house and forget to update your details with a financial institution or company.
The unclaimed insurance amount reported by the life and non-life insurance companies is as follows;
As per the IRDA’s latest report, unclaimed money worth nearly Rs 15,167 crores (as on March 31, 2018) is lying idle with Life Insurance Companies.
The Unclaimed List is as below:
LIC – Rs 10,509 Cr
ICICI Pru – Rs 807.4 Cr
Reliance – Rs 696.12 Cr
SBI Life – Rs 678.59 Cr
HDFC Life – Rs 659.3 Cr
Here, unclaimed insurance policy money means, the money which has been remained unclaimed beyond six months from the claim settlement due date.
Let’s say, Mr Rajiv takes a life insurance policy and nominates his son (Mr Rahul) as the nominee. He has never shared the information about this policy with Rahul / family members. Rajiv has met his untimely death. After a year, Rahul finds the life insurance policy bond, wants to find this unclaimed insurance policy amount and claim it.
Similarly, there can be different reasons for the unclaimed insurance money lying with Life Insurance (or) Non-life insurance companies.
How to find out about Unclaimed Insurance policy amount online?
IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development of India) has issued clear guidelines to all insurance companies (life & non-life) to provide unclaimed insurance money details on their respective websites.
If the unclaimed insurance policy amount is more than Rs 1,000 then you can identify it online by visiting respective insurance company portal.
You have to provide below details to find out about unclaimed insurance amount;
- Policy number (optional)
- Policyholder’s name (required)
- Date of birth of Policy holder (required) &
- PAN card number (optional)
If the information in any two fields matches with the insurer’s records, the unclaimed amount lying with the company gets displayed. The policy-holder’s name and address will also be displayed.
Likewise, Non-life insurance companies also allow you to know whether any amount is lying unclaimed. Let’s say you would like to identify unclaimed insurance money then you have to provide Policy holder’s name and other details (which are optional) to know about unclaimed amount.
How to claim unclaimed Insurance amount?
If the claim is made by the policy holder himself then the insurer will ask for a cancelled cheque and Policy bond. You have to approach the home branch or zonal office of your life insurance company and claim the unclaimed money.
If it’s a death claim, and a nominee is claiming the amount, a WILL left by the policyholder will make it very easy for the nominee to claim benefits / amount with an insurer. Kindly note that for a death claim, insurer will take bank details of the nominee.
- As per the new nomination rule (2015), the concept of ‘Beneficial Nominee‘ has been introduced. Beneficial nominees are direct dependents of the policy holder i.e., Spouse, children or parents.
- As per Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act, 2015 – If an immediate family member such as spouse / parent / child is made as the nominee, then the death benefit will be paid to that person and other legal heirs will not have a claim on the money.
- If you (policyholder) nominate your spouse, children or/and parents, they would be Beneficial Nominees. No one else can claim your life insurance policy monies. For example : If you nominate your spouse as beneficial nominee, no one else (even other legal heirs) can have right on the death claim proceeds.
- So, the concept of beneficial nominee is like a WILL.
If there is no ‘Will’ and no nomination in the insurance policy, the legal process will have to be followed. In such a scenario, the insurance company discharges the claim amount to the Class I legal heir, that is, to son, daughter, spouse and mother.
How to avoid unclaimed insurance?
- Maintain a record of all your investment details. (Consider creating a portfolio on financial portals like www.moneycontrol.com)
- Monitor and Track all your investments regularly.
- Try to invest online wherever and whenever it is possible.
- Update your latest contact details with your bank or other financial institutions.
- Keep your family members updated about all your investments.
- Assign nominees for all the investments.
- Write a WILL.