Imagine your loved ones who are financially dependent on you are not aware of the fact that you have saved a lump sum amount of money for their upkeep for when you are no longer around. You have invested all of your life's labour in accumulating those savings just to realise that the funds are lying unused because you have failed to inform your loved ones of how and where to access this fund.
This not only results in a waste of your savings but also leaves your family in financial doldrums which was exactly something you had wanted to avoid.
It is interesting to note that The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has stated that, as on March 31, 2018, the total unclaimed amount stood at Rs 15,166.47 crores. If your loved ones rely on you financially and you have signed up a life insurance policy for yourself, then it is pivotal that you discuss with them about the policy details.
Not updating them with these details may result in your family missing out on the claims payment. There are situations wherein the family members are unaware of insurance policies purchased by the policyholder and remain deprived of insurance benefits. To avoid such situations, individuals should keep the nominee, or the closest family members informed of the policy and relevant details. Basic details such as the insurance company's name, terms of insurance and broker information, if any, should be kept handy with near and dear ones.
To know if the policy is unclaimed, visit the website of the insurance company, a separate window of 'unclaimed number of policyholders' is provided to know any unclaimed amount. Enter the policy number, PAN, date of birth and Aadhaar number of the policyholder. One can always visit the branch or call customer care for policy details and fill up a cheque re-issuance form along with the NEFT details for claiming the money.
There are other routes through which nominees can get to know about their policy details. For example; 'I Owe You', an editable e-card containing the insured's policies along with its plan name, sum assured, rider name and rider sum assured if any along with the helpline number. Anyone can avail of this facility. They are able to share this OTP verified e-card with their nominee for easy reference at times of claim if any. The card also enables them to personalise it with a picture and their message for their loved ones.
The responsibility of an individual towards securing the financial well-being of their family does not end with the purchase of a policy or by paying the premium. Becoming actively aware of the intricacies of the policy documents, keeping family members informed, maintaining thorough documentation internally and updating the information to the insurer goes a long way in preventing one's hard-earned insurance policy from remaining unclaimed.
(The author is MD & CEO, Aegon Life.)