Unfortunately, the manipulative tactics of many life insurance policies have hurt many policy holders and their families. Families that were counting on funds to help make up for the loss of a breadwinner and valued member of society all too often found themselves without the help they were counting on. Furthermore, promises made to individuals about cashing in part of their policies turned out not to be true.
Instead, there are billions in unclaimed funds that the life insurance companies never paid out. Much of this money is as a direct result of the corporations not adequately finding and paying the relatives of the deceased. Instead, close relatives have been unable to collect on the money they have been promised. Some of these issues are due to legitimate mistakes, including improper forwarding addresses, typos, and misspelled names. However, many times the insurance companies knowingly decide that they are taking and keeping this money meant for a grieving family.
One common tactic is to claim that the companies have no knowledge of the passing of the policy holder. As such, the company is able to hold onto and reinvest that money, reaping benefits that should be going to their family. When the holder dies and stops making payments into their policy, the company often tries to find them but may stop before finding a last living relative. There have been cases where family members are unaware of the very existence of this policy and the company does nothing to notify them.
There are many methods of finding such relatives, especially in this time of the internet. There are many methods of finding records that tie the deceased to close relatives or through rudimentary interviews with those that knew the policy holder. This becomes even more complicated considering that many companies now offer stock options or dividends as part of a life insurance policy.
The process of recovering a policy should be simple. The years of premium payments and policies should entitle a family to what their relative paid for for such a long time. After several years, the company should turn the value of the policy over to the state of residence (depending on local law), but is sometimes not followed. This could be used as a means for relatives to claim later on. States are often better in contacting long lost relatives, but by now the information could be worthless.
This is just another example of how proper oversight, including holding these companies legally responsible, can make a tremendous difference. In short, many of these companies have acted in such a manner simply because they know they could get away with it. With legal watchdogs like Michael Ehline on the picketline, those days are numbered.