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Your Life Insurance Policy: Can Your Family Find it When They Need To?

by Alicia Isero

When a life ends, the family of the deceased is overcome with sadness. The last emotion someone in mourning needs to deal with is stress. Organizing your life insurance policy information and benefit records in advance and making that information available to your family is the best way to eliminate stress.

New Insurance Policy Due Diligence

When you obtain a new life insurance policy, what should you do? Make sure each policy contains the following information:

  • Name and location of insurer and parent company if applicable
  • Policy number and date the policy was issued
  • Type and terms of policy (traditional, universal, variable, or term--life term or decreasing, whole life)
  • Name and address of your insurance broker or agent
  • Details on how to file a claim
  • The amount of the death benefit

It is important to keep track of as much detail as possible for each type of life insurance policy you have. You may have different life insurance policies from:

  • Your employer
  • Your financial program
  • Lending institution

Keeping Your Life Insurance Policy Safe

Where should you keep your life insurance policy records?

  • Set up a file system or binder in a safe place in your home where you maintain other critical paperwork (especially insurance policies) and be sure all members of the family know where you keep it
  • Keep a second complete copy of all paperwork outside your home in a safe deposit box or other safe place

You may also want to include the following personal information as well:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Bank and investment account information
  • Credit card information
  • Safe deposit box information
  • Copy of your will and the name of executor, lawyer, or friend who knows how to retrieve it

The more organized your life insurance policy records and other information is, the less stressful this sad time will be for your family. Just a reminder that you want to shred all obsolete paperwork in order to avoid the possibility that someone could use your information fraudulently.


Insurance Information Institute

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