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How To Find Lost Unclaimed UK Life Insurance Policies In 2024

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 31st December 2023

How to find a life insurance policy

Time stands still when a loved one dies, but much must be done.

After making funeral and burial arrangements, it is time to go through the deceased’s belongings and settle the estate, which can be a complex and expensive process.

Final bills, a mortgage balance, debts, and inheritance tax can drastically reduce the estate value.

One expense is avoided if the estate does not meet the inheritance tax threshold. However, others can put surviving loved ones into financial distress. The payout from a life insurance policy would be useful during this time.

Sixty Percent Of UK Families Do Not Own A Life Insurance Policy…

Many of those who do never tell their loved ones about it. If the policyholder dies, surviving beneficiaries will not be aware of the cover.

The amount of unclaimed life insurance benefits in the UK is estimated at £2 billion. Searching for a share of this is recommended, and though this may take time, the payout can be worth the effort.

Lack of communication with other family members or a change of address can cause a life insurance policy to become separated from its owner. Insurance companies take different steps to locate customers when life policy benefits are eligible for claim or payout.

The varying approaches and extents of efforts result in lost assets and cause many policyholders to lose touch with their insurance providers. Family members who have recently lost a beloved should know how to search for life insurance cover that the person may have purchased.

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How To Find Out If Someone Has Life Insurance UK The Unclaimed Assets Register

Since the life insurance industry in the UK does not offer a tracking service, UK citizens must assume this role.

A good place for them to begin looking for missing policies is the Unclaimed Assets Register or UAR. Experian offers this service to help UK residents find lost assets and reach out to the providers to make claims.

Businesses do their part by regularly providing UAR with customer data. To find a lost asset, a consumer establishes an online account and pays £25 per search of the UAR database.

Experian reruns saved searches at no charge to consumers after a financial institution adds new information to the UAR. This service has helped many businesses and consumers find each other to reunite lost assets with their inherited owners.

The UAR also protects assets from identity theft and fraud. Consumers can quickly search for money, life insurance policies, and other assets to which they are entitled and get in touch with providers to recover these.

Mutuals and Friendly Societies

Several decades ago, savings products featuring low premiums were offered by mutuals and friendly societies as forms of life insurance.

Many of these companies have merged or transferred their business and are no longer operating in the same form. A register of the transfers and mergers is maintained by the Association of Financial Mutuals. This may prove helpful when trying to locate a life insurance policy.

A closed friendly society or mutual may also be found by using the Mutual Societies Registration or contacting the Association of Friendly Societies (AFS). My Assets Reunited is a search service provided by the AFS for this purpose.

However, it does not include every friendly society, and charges may be imposed for benefit recovery. The old Mutual Societies Registration that was a Register of Friendly Societies is now the Financial Services Authority, which can be contacted via telephone.

The Association of British Insurers

The website of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) features resources and information for life insurance policy searches. The ABI recommends using the UAR and checking the credit card and bank account statements of the deceased to find evidence of life insurance premium payments.

Since many consumers pay premiums annually, at least 12 months of these documents should be reviewed. A call to the legal or accounting professional used by the deceased may also reveal the presence of a life insurance policy.

Contact information may be obtained from the ABI member list if the insurance company name is found. If the policy is discovered, but the provider’s contact information cannot be found or is incorrect, the company may have a new name.

The ABI recommends the Policy Detective website to find the current name. This site is owned and managed by Wellwood Adami Ltd., a UK company, and is free to the public.

Its primary purpose is to reunite residents of the UK with building society accounts, bank accounts, and life and pension policy administrators.