When a person dies, his or her children or other beneficiaries may know that the decedent was insured, but they may not know where the decedent's life insurance policy is and what insurance company issued it. Often, they do not try to investigate or file a claim. If that happens, insurance companies simply hold the money due to beneficiaries and collect an interest on it.
When people buy life insurance policies, they trust the insurance company to pay their beneficiaries promptly upon their death. Insurance companies, however, are not so fast to pay. In hundreds of cases, insurance companies simply retain death benefit money they are required to pay out to beneficiaries if no claim has ever been filed.
In April, MetLife joined Prudential and John Hancock, two other big life insurers, and settled regulatory accusations for failing to keep track of policyholders' deaths and for trapping money that should have been paid out promptly to the beneficiaries. When a person who had a life insurance policy with MetLife died, and no life insurance claim was filed by his or her beneficiaries, MetLife simply held the money and earned a profit on it.
The terms of the settlement require MetLife to pay nearly $500 million to beneficiaries in more than 30 states. MetLife will distribute about $188 million to beneficiaries around the country. The amount of money to be paid out by the three companies is expected to exceed $1 billion.
If your loved one passed away and you know that he or she was insured, but may not locate the life insurance policy, you may still be able to get the death benefits to which you are entitled as a beneficiary. Please call one of our experienced life insurance attorneys. Our firm focuses on life insurance claims and has helped thousands of people recover under life insurance claims that have been denied. We help clients get their death benefits money promptly.