The Elrod Firm

ASK THE PROS

Why won’t the insurance company talk to me?

Justin, my mother recently passed away, and I called to ask for the claim form on her life insurance. The company refused to give me any information. She was a widow, and I’m her only child. Why won’t they talk to me? – Henry

Henry, I’m sorry you’re having difficulties accessing the policy. If the company is not willing to give you any information, you are most likely not a named beneficiary on the policy. Once the owner of the policy dies, the company can only give information to the named beneficiary or to the personal representative of the deceased owner’s estate. It is quite common for people to set up insurance policies and bank accounts and name their spouse as the only death beneficiary, then forget to later update the beneficiaries when children are born or someone dies. If you are not the beneficiary of the policy and you don’t have any siblings, your mother most likely named your father as her sole beneficiary. Since your father predeceased her, you will need to notify the company of that, in case he was the beneficiary.

To gain access to the information on the policy and to cash it out, if there are no living beneficiaries on the policy, unfortunately, you will need to go through a probate court proceeding to have yourself named as the personal representative of your mother’s estate. Once you are appointed as the representative, the company will be able to assist you in accessing your mother’s policy.

Are you in a similar situation?

We can help you navigate your unique circumstance.

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