Term life insurance is an insurance that pays out if the insured dies during a set period of time. It can help to cover funeral expenses and provide financial assistance to the named beneficiary. Typically, the life insurance beneficiary is a spouse, child or other close family member, who may experience financial difficulty now that the deceased is no longer earning income or paying any expenses. Beneficiaries do not have to be family members as the policy holder can choose to list anyone they want as the beneficiary for the life insurance policy. How do you know if you are a beneficiary on anybody's life insurance policy?
What to Know About Term Life Insurance as a Beneficiary
Unfortunately there's not a phone number you can call or a website you can search to find this out. The listed beneficiary remains confidential between the policy holder and the insurance company until the time of death, so the best way to find out is by directly asking your family member or friend about their life insurance and its beneficiaries.
This type of conversation may make you uncomfortable especially if you haven't talked about end of life topics before. Rather than just confronting them about who is listed as the beneficiary, view this as an opportunity to have a more robust conversation about what they envision once they're gone. Here are some example conversation starters to open the discussion, which can lead you into inquiring about their life insurance.
How to Start a Conversation About Being a Beneficiary?
- Joe from high school recently passed away, and it's got me thinking that we haven't really talked about what happens when one of us dies. What will we do? What do you want to happen with your body? How will I continue our lifestyle without your income?
- I've been reviewing all of our insurance to ensure that we are adequately covered. I want to review with you what we have today, if there's anything different we should be doing and what we might be missing?
- A friend suggested to me the other day that I should check into getting a policy. What is term life insurance anyway, and how can it help me? Do you have term life insurance? Do you find it valuable? Why did you get it?
Making Sure You Get Your Life Insurance Death Benefit
If your family member passes away and you do not know you are the life insurance beneficiary, the insurance company will take steps to notify you. If they are unable to locate you, the life insurance policy will be paid out to the estate of the deceased. This typically becomes unclaimed property registered with the state government, which will also make attempts to locate you and provide notification that you have unclaimed property with the state. However, you can check at any point with a state government to make this determination. To access and search unclaimed property records, click on the appropriate state in the table at the bottom.
While the death of a family member or close friend is never easy, you can feel more prepared for it by learning more about their life insurance policy and if you are the beneficiary. If you or your family member doesn't have life insurance but are interested in learning more or exploring different policies, we would be glad to help you find the best life insurance agent to help guide you through everything you need.