Life insurance policies are nothing new, as many people are becoming more concerned about managing their financial wealth and preparing for their future and retirement. However, do you really know what happens when the policy has matured? Apparently not, as evidenced by the fact that a (quite literal) fortune from these life insurance policies remain unclaimed by policy-holders and/or their beneficiaries.
What’s the issue?
It was recently reported in The Star that more than RM327million due to the beneficiaries of life insurance policies has not been claimed in the past five years. That is, the money from policies that had matured but remain unclaimed, according to the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM). This was the total value of over 500,000 matured life insurance policies that have been forgotten by the policyholders and their beneficiaries.
Why is there so much unclaimed money?
This is because almost all the policyholders affected by this issue were unreachable by the insurance company, mostly because of outdated contact information. The beneficiaries may also be unaware that they can claim the money. After insurance companies submit unclaimed monies to the Registrar of Unclaimed Money, no further attempts are made to contact the policyholders or beneficiaries. This results in the accumulation of unclaimed money.
How to claim from a matured life insurance policy?
If you’re the policy-holder, you are definitely entitled to claim your money from the life insurance policy you’ve taken up.
If you are the rightful beneficiary, you are still entitled to make claims.
“No specific deadline is set for claims and there are no negative consequences like fines and penalties.” – Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM)
First, head over to the insurance company office for confirmation, then confirm the amount of unclaimed money and date of payment. Once confirmed, you will be provided a copy of the transaction – in an Unclaimed Monies Register (UMA-3) form – and a cover letter from the company. You must then submit the application form (in person or by mail), along with the supporting documents required, to the Registrar of Unclaimed Monies office at Menara Maybank, Kuala Lumpur.
Documents required to claim:
- One UMA-7 form (application for refund of unclaimed monies)
- Original policy document (if lost, letter of confirmation from insurance company)
- MyKad OR passport copy
- Active bank account book or authorised bank statement
- Letter of Administration/ Grant of Probate/ Power of Attorney/ Forms E or F under the Small Estates (Distributions) Act 1955/ court order (for beneficiaries of deceased policy-holders, or those with legal rights to claim)
*For joint account claims, applications and supporting documents must be submitted by all account holders.
*For claims by the heirs of deceased policyholders, letters of administration and a grant of probate must also be submitted.
How do I know whether I have any unclaimed money?
If you’re not sure whether you have any unclaimed money, you can also head over to the Registrar’s office counter, or any of the Accountant-General’s Department state offices, to check.
What you should do (as a policy-holder):
- Sign up for an e-payment system, and provide an active bank account number to your life insurance company so that they will be able to transfer maturity proceeds, claims payments and dividends into the bank account.
- Update your personal details such as address, contact numbers and email address.
- Sign up for an online account so you can access your policy details and be informed of any updates or changes to your policy.
You can get more information at the Accountant-General’s Department website (which manages the Registrar of Unclaimed Money) at www.anm.gov.my, or direct from the insurance company.