Department of Insurance and Financial Services Helped Recover More Than $4.1 Million in Unclaimed Life Insurance and Annuity Benefits in 2021
April 29, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 29, 2022
(LANSING, MICH) May 2 is National Life Insurance Day, and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has announced that it assisted more than 1,300 Michigan families investigate, locate, and recover more than $4.1 million in unpaid life insurance or annuity benefits in 2021. Approximately 90% of claims initiated through the DIFS Life Insurance and Annuity Search Service (LIAS) ultimately resulted in a recovery for beneficiaries.
“People purchase life insurance and annuity products to help provide vital financial resources to their loved ones after they have passed on but, all too often, those benefits go unclaimed,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Beneficiaries may not know if a policy exists, which company issued the policy, or how to file a claim after the death of their loved one, but DIFS LIAS staff are committed to assisting those grieving family members locate and recover any unclaimed benefits they are owed.”
DIFS, the state agency responsible for regulating the insurance industry in Michigan, created LIAS to help consumers locate a deceased family member’s life insurance policy or annuity contract that was purchased in Michigan. In 2021, DIFS staff processed 1,376 LIAS inquiries, resulting in 119 filed claims and the recovery of more than $4.1 million for 107 claimants. During the first quarter of 2022, 417 LIAS inquiries were processed, and 26 Michigan families initiated the claims process, with initial recoveries totaling $17,865 for four claimants.
Following the death of a loved one, families should review financial records, including statements, invoices, and check ledgers, to determine if life insurance proceeds or annuity payments may be available. They should then contact the issuing company, if known, for more information. Consumers who cannot locate this information can visit the DIFS LIAS webpage to initiate a search. DIFS collects LIAS submissions and sends them to insurance companies who will then respond only to the listed beneficiary if a life insurance policy or annuity contract is located.
Consumers with questions about this service may visit the LIAS webpage or contact DIFS at 877-999-6442 or DIFS-LIAS@michigan.gov. A national resource is also available from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at eapps.naic.org/life-policy-locator.
Purchasing life insurance may be a key component of a family’s strategy for long-term financial planning. For more information about shopping for life insurance or annuities in Michigan, visit the DIFS Life and Annuities website.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.