How to Find Out if Someone Has Life Insurance Australia

Learn about how to find and claim unclaimed life insurance funds in Australia here with Savvy.

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, updated on July 10th, 2023       

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If you're trying to find out if someone has life insurance in Australia, there are a few ways to go about it. Perhaps you're an executor of a will, or you suspect that a loved one may have had a life insurance policy but didn't leave any documentation. Whatever your reason, knowing how to find out if someone had life insurance can be important.

Finding out if someone has life insurance can be a complex and challenging process. However, with the right information and resources, you can streamline your search and find out what you need to know. You can learn about what to do when looking for a life insurance policy and how to claim it right here with Savvy.

What is unclaimed life insurance?

Unclaimed life insurance in Australia refers to life insurance policies that have not been claimed by the beneficiaries after the policyholder's death. This can happen for various reasons, such as the beneficiaries not being aware of the policy's existence or the policyholder not informing them of it before their death. The unclaimed funds are held by the life insurance company for up to seven years. However, if no claim is made, they’re transferred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

ASIC estimates that there are billions of dollars in unclaimed money across various financial products, including life insurance policies. In an effort to reunite these funds with their rightful owners, the Australian Government maintains a register of unclaimed money. This register includes unclaimed life insurance policies and other financial products and individuals can search the register to see if they or a loved one have any unclaimed funds.

How do I find out if someone has an unclaimed life insurance payout in Australia?

To find out if someone has an unclaimed life insurance payout in Australia, you can follow these simple steps:

  • Check the Australian Government's unclaimed money register: the unclaimed money register is a database of unclaimed money that includes unclaimed life insurance payouts. You can search for unclaimed money by entering the person's name and other details such as their address or date of birth.
  • Contact the person's life insurance company: if you know which life insurance company the person had a policy with, you can contact them to find out if there is an unclaimed payout.
  • Check the person's financial records: if you have access to the person's financial records, you may be able to find evidence of a life insurance policy. Look for records of premium payments, correspondence from life insurance companies or evidence of a policy being taken out.
  • Seek professional help: if you’re having difficulty finding out if someone had an unclaimed life insurance payout, you may wish to seek the assistance of a professional, such as a solicitor or financial advisor.

It's important to note that there may be time limits on claiming an unclaimed life insurance payout, so it's best to start your search as soon as possible.

How do I claim an unclaimed life insurance payout?

Claiming an unclaimed life insurance payout in Australia is a process requiring you to undertake a few steps. These are:

  1. Confirm your OTN: if you search ASIC’s unclaimed money register and find funds in your name or the name of a loved one, be sure to make a note of your Original Transaction Number (OTN).
  2. Contact the insurer: once you work out which insurer the policy was with, you can get in contact with them to commence the process of obtaining the lost funds.
  3. Provide documentation: you’ll need to prove who you are and your relationship to the policyholder to gain access to the funds, with different insurers having their own process in terms of the information required.
  4. Have your claim assessed: once you’ve done everything on your end, you’ll have to wait for your insurer to assess the claim and determine whether to release the funds to you. Should your claim be approved, the funds will be released to you by ASIC.

It's important to note that unclaimed life insurance policies may have a time limit for making a claim, so it's important to act quickly and seek advice from a financial adviser or lawyer if necessary.

Common questions about unclaimed life insurance

How long will it take to claim an unclaimed life insurance payout in Australia?

Claiming an unclaimed life insurance payout in Australia can take some time, as the process involves providing evidence of the policyholder's death and identifying yourself as the rightful beneficiary. ASIC states that this process will generally take up to 28 days for the beneficiary to receive the funds. However, the length of time it takes to receive the payout can vary depending on the circumstances of the policyholder's death, the complexity of the policy and the evidence required to support the claim.

How do I avoid my life insurance payout becoming unclaimed?

To avoid a life insurance payout becoming unclaimed, it's important to ensure that your policy information is up to date and that your beneficiaries are aware of its existence and how to make a claim in the event of your death. It's also a good idea to review your policy regularly and to notify your insurer of any changes to your circumstances which may affect your coverage.

Does unclaimed life insurance generate interest?

Yes – lost funds held by ASIC do generate interest, with the rate changing each year. The amount of interest payable on lost funds held by ASIC will ultimately depend on the length of time it’s been lost. If your lost funds date back to before July 1, 2013, interest wasn’t paid prior to this date.

Can I buy a life insurance policy for someone else in Australia?

It’s possible to buy a life insurance policy for someone else in Australia, such as a parent, provided you have their written consent and they meet the insurer's eligibility requirements. You may also need to show that you have an insurable interest, such as if there are any outstanding debts which would be passed on to you should they die.

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Savvy is partnered with Compare Club Australia Pty Ltd (AFS representative number 001279036) of Alternative Media Pty Ltd (AFS License number 486326) to provide readers with a variety of life insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from Compare Club each time a customer buys a life insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via Compare Club.

Savvy does not compare all life insurance policies or providers currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

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