An important thing for insurance agents to do when meeting with life insurance leads is reminding them how important it is that they inform their beneficiaries about the policy. Otherwise, life insurance proceeds may wind up going unclaimed.
According to The Wall Street Journal, state regulators believe that as much as $1 billion in life insurance benefits is sitting on life insurers' financial records. That's because only a handful of states have search services that can help individuals determine whether they are beneficiaries of a life insurance policy.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services reports that three states - Ohio, Missouri and Louisiana - have search services. West Virginia may become the fourth.
"Currently, we do not have any type of service in place in West Virginia," said Jason Butcher, the state's Offices of the Insurance Commissioner spokesman, in an interview with McClatchy. "We are aware of the movements in the other states and will continue to watch their progress."
Agents should make every effort to impress upon their insurance customers the need for them to inform their loved ones about who the beneficiaries of a policy are so funds can be properly distributed.