Unclaimed Life Insurance

August 19, 2016

A life insurance policy works such that the policyholder pays a monthly or yearly premium and when he or she dies, the insurance company pays the benefits to the deceased’s spouse or children or anyone who has been nominated by them.

However, this is not always the case.

According to a recent investigation, as many as 35 of the biggest insurance companies in the United States have not settled the claims with beneficiaries and have been sitting on billions of dollars of money that does not belong to them.

Most of this happens due to the beneficiaries not being aware that a policy exists so the benefits end up not being claimed. As per estimates, as many as one in four policies remain unclaimed in the United States.

Legal Status of Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits  

The legal status of what happens to insurance payouts that are left unclaimed depends on the type of policy – term life insurance or whole life insurance – that was in place and whether it was paid up and in force at the time of death.

Whole Life Policy

In the case of whole life policy, if the premiums were up to date or fully paid, the beneficiaries are entitled to receive the full policy benefits regardless of the time duration of the claim after the policy holder’s death. In fact, during the time the benefits remain unclaimed, accrued interest is added to the basic unclaimed amount.

In case benefits remain unclaimed so that the insured would have reached the limiting age on the mortality table which is usually 100-115 years, the benefits may be considered legally abandoned. In such a case, the unclaimed funds convert to state property and escheat statutes. Even then, in most cases heirs reserve the right to reclaim the funds.

Term Life Policy

Unclaimed term life policies have more or less the same legal status as whole life policy. The only difference is that these policies are only for a selected number of years so the beneficiaries may or may not be entitled to the policy payout depending on the forfeiture clause defined at the time of purchase and whether the premiums were up to date.

How to find a lost life insurance policy

Most insurance companies consider it the responsibility of the beneficiaries to contact them in order to collect the policy benefits which is a flawed practice and the basic reason for millions of unclaimed life insurance policies in the country.

If you or someone around you wants to find out about a missing policy, here is how to approach the situation:

  • Check with deceased’s employers since many companies offer group life insurance to employees. They should have a record of everything.
  • Check the deceased’s personal documents and look for anything that can lead to the insurance company – telephone numbers, policy documents and/or the names of the insurance agents.
  • Be on the lookout for deceased’s incoming mail for some period after the death and watch out for due premium notices or statements, which are sent monthly or annually depending on the insurance company.
  • Banks, lenders, credit card companies and other financial service companies often offer free or low-cost life insurance policies. Check out the deceased’s financial documents to see if such a policy was in force.
  • If all else fails and no record of a policy is found but you are sure that a policy was in place, contact the underwriters in your city/state directly. To narrow down underwriters, start with the most popular ones in your area.


Final word

Whether you have just discovered about lost insurance claims or many years have passed since the insured’s death, there are many legal ways to acquire the funds that you and other heirs of the deceased may be entitled to.

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Retirement Planning Tool

August 13, 2016

Planning for retirement? Here’s what you need to know

When it comes to planning for retirement, most people recognize the importance of saving as early as possible but a majority of them do not get started for one reason or the other. Some just don’t have the right mindset for saving while others simply do not have the right knowledge on how to handle their financial planning for a happy retirement.

To address this, we have put together this guide that will help get your investment and retirement planning in order by taking advantage of financial resources and tools such as retirement planning calculator, stock calculator online and investment calculator online.

Let’s get started.

Pay off the expensive debt first

The best thing you can do to maximize your retirement savings is to pay off your debts especially the ones with high interest. This includes credit card debt and car loans which can be toxic for your finances. No matter how much you can possibly regain through savings and investing, this debt will always come out as a net negative for you. So, pay off your expensive credit card debts and car loan first if you really want to supercharge your retirement savings.

Have an emergency fund

A surefire way to put a dent in your savings plan is by not having an emergency fund in place. By doing this, you put yourself at the risk of turning to high-interest credit card debt when an emergency arises which, as mentioned earlier, is something you really don’t want to do. As a general rule of thumb, it is advisable to have at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund. That way you won’t need to resort to expensive credit card loans in a time of crisis.

Make full use of employer match

If your job comes with a paid-for employer match for your 401k account, take full advantage of it by using it to full capacity. Let’s assume that your employer matches 50 cents for every $1 that you invest, up to a limit of 6 percent of salary meaning that if you invest the full 6 percent of your salary, the employer will invest an additional 3 percent.

In total, you will be putting a healthy 9 percent of your salary towards your retirement. You can use our Retirement Planning Tool to obtain a projection of how maximizing your 401k savings account can affect your retirement plan.

Make and follow a budget

Knowing all your expenses whether big or small and then adjusting them according to your income is a no-brainer if you really want to retire with financial freedom. This can be achieved by budgeting your finances and keeping a track of all your regular expenses and bills. When you know that you need to set aside a specific amount for these expenses each month, you are more likely to make room for savings.

One way to optimize your budget for retirement savings is to categorize your savings as a recurring monthly ‘expense’ rather than literal ‘savings’. You can do this by opening a separate savings account that automatically takes money from your main salary or business account ensuring that laziness or excessive spending doesn’t get the better of you.

Have a solid Financial Plan

While saving money is important, knowing where to invest the money you save for maximum returns is even more important. The process starts with figuring out your existing savings and knowing how much money you’ll need once you retire.

As a general rule, you should plan to have 80 percent of your current annual income in retirement. Adjust this amount with any projected retirement income such as pension or social security and you will get the exact amount you’ll need per year in retirement.

Next is to have a balanced asset allocation strategy and invest your money so that it continues to grow before and after retirement. The best way to achieve this is to diversify your assets in different avenues such as stocks, bonds, commodities and emerging market equities. This protects your investment against any potential volatility in the markets and helps you come out on top in the long run.

Use our online investment calculator to find out the approximate rate of return on your investments by testing a variety of asset allocation scenarios.

Revise your asset allocation over time

With time, your financial situation changes and as you edge closer to retirement you would want to have more easily accessible income. This can be achieved by tweaking your asset allocation as your needs change.

If you have started saving at a young age and don’t have a family to support for the initial few years of your career, it would be wise to keep a majority of your portfolio in growth assets with maximum return. As you grow older, you can move more of your assets to fixed income options such as bonds and high dividend stocks.

Having said that, by no means you should move all your investment away from growth assets as you want your money to do the work for you even after you retire.

Use our online stock calculator and online investment calculator if you need to figure out your ideal asset allocation based on your individual situation, preferences, and retirement goals.

Make use of tax-advantaged retirement accounts

When saving for retirement, one way to fast-track your progress is to make good use of special retirement accounts that are given a tax break from the government. These include 401(k), traditional IRA and Roth accounts allow of which allow you to contribute up to $5000 per year.

With these accounts, you have the option to take out contributions and earnings without paying any tax during retirement. In some cases, you have the option to pay income tax upfront and avoid capital gains and interest taxes in the future. In short, a 401(k), 403(b) and an IRA are all fantastic retirement account options.


To sum it up, starting out as early as possible, using the right retirement planning tools and some careful planning can go a long way towards comfortable retirement. Here at Insure You Know, we understand this fully which has led us to build powerful stock calculator and investment calculator that you can use online to plan your retirement.

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August 9, 2016

A New Website App Can Save Users Thousands of Dollars By Simply Keeping Track of Unknown Life Insurance Policies

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 4, 2016 – InsureYouKnow.org makes sure beneficiaries do not get separated from benefits by simply not knowing about existing policies.

Insure You Know dot Org’s APP creates a powerful tool to help stop billions of dollars of life insurance policy benefits from going unpaid. Major news outlets report that
courts recently forced 25 of the nation’s biggest life insurance companies to pay more than $7.5 billion in back death benefits.
 InsureYouKnow.Org stores and updates life’s critical information, saving a person days, weeks, months and possibly years of chasing down information like insurance policies, banking and retirement account information.

Founder Gerry Acuna, referring to a recent 60 Minutes investigation, says, “Audits of some well-known life insurance companies reveal that many beneficiaries go unpaid simply because beneficiaries are not aware of the policies. And because of this, the life insurance company does not have to pay if they are not notified by the beneficiary – we’re talking about billions of dollars in unpaid benefits.”

InsureYouKnow.Org can also record Deeds, Last Will and Testaments, Employment Contracts, Medical/Health Information, Pre-Nuptial Agreements and that’s just for starters. At your discretion, InsureYouKnow.Org will securely share some, or all, of this information with those you choose to share it with. You tell us which loved ones, family members, caretakers, or legal representatives to share your information with. We then send those you designated a monthly notice that helps you and them stay informed.

InsureYouKnow.Orgs’ encrypted site provides a safe and secure place for storing all of your critical time sensitive information that can assist your family, friends, caretakers or executor in meeting your needs at a critical moment.

InsureYouKnow.Org does not ask for your Social Security Number nor does it need complete account numbers. Any Documents you upload (such as Driver’s License, Passport, Last Will and Testament, Pre-Nuptial Agreement, Deeds, etc.) are password encrypted and the password is not known to the site. Only you, or someone you share your password with, can gain access.

Some additional InsureYouKnow.Org features are the ability to help our users locate the least expensive prescription drug prices and medical procedures in their area. The site can also provide a daily financial portfolio update to help you keep your retirement goals on track.

Media Contact:

Gerry Acuna



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