Claim money from life insurance policies

Life insurance policy claims

If you have found your name on ASIC's Unclaimed Money Online Search and the money is from a life insurance policy, here's how to claim it and what money may be held.

What money may be held from life insurance policies

ASIC holds money from life insurance policies from insurance companies or friendly societies that have been unclaimed for 7 years after the policy matures. On 31 December 2015 this changed from 3 years. To find out more see changes to unclaimed money laws on the ASIC website.

ASIC's Unclaimed Money Search database goes back to 1952 for life insurance companies and back to 2000 for friendly societies.

How to claim life insurance policy money

If you have found your name on ASIC's Unclaimed Money Search and the money is from a life insurer or friendly society, you will need to approach the relevant institution. They are responsible for assessing the rightful owner of the funds.

If your claim is successful, the institution will notify ASIC. ASIC will then release the funds to the institution so the institution can then pay you.

On the life insurance policy, there will be two names listed. One is the life insured and the other is the policy owner (who is listed in brackets). When the name of the life insured differs from the policy owner, the unclaimed money can only be claimed by the policy owner unless the life insured is able to prove otherwise. The insurance company will be able to answer any questions you have about the names listed.

How long will your claim take?

You need to check with the life insurance company to find out how long it will take to process your claim. Generally, ASIC will take up to 28 days from the time the life insurance company lodges the claim with us. We will then release the funds to the insurance company so the insurance company can then pay you.

Step 1

Record your Original Transaction Number (OTN)

If you found your name on ASIC's Unclaimed Money Search, then you would also have seen a unique Original Transaction Number (OTN).
Please note down your OTN. You will need your OTN to make a claim.

Step 2

Check the list of  life insurance companies and friendly societies  

Check this list to see if the life insurance or friendly society you are trying to contact is still operating. If they are not, this list will tell you which institution is responsible for deciding your claim. For a complete list of life insurance companies and friendly societies that are authorised to operate in Australia, go to the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority website.

Step 3

Contact the company and collect your documents

The life insurance company or friendly society will tell you what documents, in addition to your OTN, are required. You should ask to speak to someone who deals with unclaimed funds from life policies. You may need to locate documents to prove you own the policies or are the beneficiary.

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Australia's unclaimed money

Our unclaimed money infographic explains how people lose track of their money and how much is out there to be claimed in each state and capital city in 2016.

Last updated: 27 Oct 2016