While the idea of a life-ending accident, injury or illness isn’t something most want to think about, but consider these facts: 25 percent of American seniors carry a debt of $5,000 or more and an even larger percentage of working Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Anticipating just how much one might need to protect his or her loved ones is difficult, but life insurance serves as a way to financially support your beneficiary. While life insurance policies may vary on their terms and costs, the basic idea is that life insurance can offer payments to your loved ones in the event of your death to prevent your family from losing a home, car or taking on a second or even third job.
According to Leslie Carlet, President of American Benefit Partners, Inc., a Boca Raton-based employee benefits consulting and management company, many companies continue to offer life insurance benefits or opt-in life insurance for a small fee as an attractive benefit for employees.
“Life insurance is an inexpensive way for employers to offer additional benefits to employees to help retain and recruit staff,” Carlet says. “In the unfortunate circumstance that an employee passes away, the family can turn to the employer for a means of paying for final expenses through the life insurance vehicle.”
Life insurance can offer peace of mind, but it’s important to focus on some truths about insurance policies that many family members unfortunately learn the hard way.
Searching for a Loved One’s Insurance Policy
Two days after Michael Hartmann’s father passed away, he asked his mother about a life insurance policy he was aware his father had. His mother knew about the policy, but hadn’t previously shared the location of policy-related documents with her family members.
“She thought the insurance company would contact us to pay out on the policy,” Hartmann, CEO of FindYourPolicy.com says. “I told her it’s our responsibility to contact the company and let them know my father had passed away. After going through this experience, I thought there had to be an easier way.”
After further research, Hartmann found purchasing the life insurance policy is an important half of the battle, but isn’t all you need to claim the policy:
• Many Americans may be unaware of the company who carries a loved one’s life insurance policy. Finding which company isn’t always so easy. There are a number of insurance companies, both large and small, that could carry a policy, or the company could have changed its name. Even if you count on a lawyer or other estate guardian, details can fall through the cracks that keep you from obtaining policy information.
• The burden of contacting the life insurance company is on the beneficiaries. While a life insurance company may send information about missed premium payments, if an address is out of date, the letter may never reach your doorstep.
• The methods to access life insurance policy recommendations aren’t foolproof. You can check with the Medical Information Bureau if your loved one underwent a physical exam to qualify for life insurance or query health records in an attempt to find out policy information—but these methods are hardly foolproof.
A National Life Insurance Database
Hartmann took what could have been an otherwise tragic situation and turned it into a life lesson—and business enterprise. Along with his twin brother Edmund, he started a website called FindYourPolicy.com. The website serves to bridge the gap between purchasing an insurance policy and allowing beneficiaries to claim the policy.
Registration on the site is free—you are asked to fill out information on the company who holds the life insurance policy and the last four digits of the deceased’s Government Issued Personal Identification number, which is your Social Security number in the United States. Through registering on the site, your loved ones have one, central location to turn to that won’t change addresses. In turn, you also can search the FindYourPolicy.com database to find a beneficiaries’ life insurance policy.
Life Insurance = Peace of Mind for Your Family
Don’t give up on life insurance’s power in helping your family through a rough and unexpected time. Through FindYourPolicy.com, you can protect your loved ones and your insurance policy.
“The entire process takes no more than two minutes to register on a database that never goes away,” Hartmann says. “It’s a great safety net, and it’s free.”
Ready to protect your loved ones? Visit FindYourPolicy.com and register your policy for free or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . To link up on social media sites, visit www.findyourpolicy.com/blog follow on Twitter: @FindUrPolicy.
Until next time, Michael Hartmann http://www.findyourpolicy.com/
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