My Father always said not to worry there is lots of life insurance. However when he died and I was helping my mom to close the estate, we could not find any life insurance policy. We looked in all the obvious places; safety deposit box, and important files at home, finding nothing. For all these years Dad had indicated that there was a fair amount of life insurance implying around $300,000.00. This is a lot of money and would make a tremendous difference for my mom. What can we do about locating missing life insurance policies?
Most people who have life insurance treat their policies as valuable documents. Accordingly people may store them so safely, that they forget where they are or they have not told their Estate Trustee where the policies are. There are also circumstances when policies can be destroyed, lost or stolen.
Under certain circumstances the OmbudService for Life and Health Insurance (OLHI) will conduct a search of the member life insurance companies to potentially locate unclaimed life insurance policies. As this search is extensive, there must be a premise that an un-located policy does exist and details of the deceased must be available. Additionally OLHI will not conduct a search within 3 months of the date of death or beyond 3 years from the date of death.
Moreover, the applicant must have a capacity relationship to the decedent, such as the Estate Trustee, Liquidator, Administrator, Beneficiary, Heir or other specified relationship.
Also a portion of the request for a policy search must convenience OLHI that there is a reasonable basis to assume the decedent had life insurance, and that exhaustive efforts have been made to locate the policy.
The scope of the OLHI search is limited to member companies. Although most insurance companies in Canada belong to OLHI, there may be a policy with a non-member company that this search would not locate. The life insurance policy search also excludes group life insurance policies and policies held outside of Canada.
Finally the OLHI will only contact the: Estate Trustee, Lawyer, Beneficiary, or direct heir of the deceased if a policy is located.
If you would like more information, please click here to connect to the OLHI website. Their other contact information is:
OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance
401 Bay Street, Suite 1507, Box 7
Tel: 416-777-2043 Fax: 416-777-9750
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