A person works really hard and saves every rupee possible to invest in an insurance scheme to ensure financial security for his family members in times of need. However, the only way to access funds invested in insurance is by presenting the policy documents to the concerned insurer while filing for claims. Those documents are the only proof that you did buy a life insurance plan, that you are the insured and that you nominate someone in particular to claim for funds in your absence. Losing them is a big loss for sure.
Despite your best intentions, there will be instances that due to some or the other reason, the policy documents might get lost somewhere may be while shifting houses or moving from one city to another, etc. if you haven’t bought insurance online, it might become a bit tedious to acquire the copy of your policy, but it is not impossible. It is important that you don’t panic and follow the guidelines to get a duplicate policy issued as soon as possible.
Get into action immediately after you notice that documents are lost:
1) Filed Police Complaint
This may or may not be required by every insurance company, but will definitely help you when you approach the insurer to get a duplicate copy of your insurance policies. Keep the acknowledged copy of the complaint to present to the relevant authorities along with other documents.
2) Publish an Advertisement in News Paper
As per the regulations, you have to publish an advertisement in an English newspaper and also one in a vernacular newspaper circulated in the state where the policy documents were lost informing about the loss. When it comes to loss of insurance policies, it is mandatory for the insured to publish the advertisement and then send a copy of the same after a month of its appearance in the papers. Do remember that the cost of publishing it is to be borne entirely by the insured.
3) Approach Insurance Company
The next step is to write an application to the insurance company giving complete details including name of the policy holder, policy number, date of issue, type of cover, date of issuance, etc. Along with it submit the police complaint copy and if it is a joint policy, the application should be made jointly by the insured persons. The insurance company would also need to know the reasons or circumstances under which the policy documents got lost.
4) Indemnity Bond
This is the last step before you acquire the duplicate copy of your insurance contract. You have to execute an indemnity bond and getting it affirmed before a notary stating to protect and indemnify the company in case a claim is made by any other person apart from you or your nominee. Depending upon which state you are in and which insurance company you are dealing with, you might have to pay a fee and probably even stamp fee to get the duplicate.
Once you follow this procedure and the insurance company finds everything in order, it would issue a duplicate policy to you with “duplicate” being prominently displayed on the documents. Make sure that you digitize these documents so you can access your insurance online, anytime from anywhere. Use technology to save your documents on cloud or get them safe in a bank locker to avoid these troubles.