How to Store Your Life Insurance Records
Life insurance is a product you hope is never needed. However, should your time come, the protection life insurance provides for your family is invaluable. Making sure your loved ones can find your policy information is more than just important – it’s absolutely critical for their financial well-being.
Locate All Your Policies
The first step in organizing your life insurance information is to first locate all policies you may have. You are probably paying for one or more policies personally. But, don’t forget the coverages that may be provided through:
- Credit card companies
- Pensions and annuities
- Workers’ compensation
- Travel accident insurance
- Fraternal organization policies
- Voluntary employee life insurance
- Your employer group life insurance
Organize Policy Information
Once you have gathered copies of each policy and insurance certificate, record the following information:
- The death benefit amount
- Claim’s office phone number
- Name of the insurance company
- The policy or certificate number
- Date the policy or coverage began
- City and state of the insurance company
- Name, address, and phone number of the agent (if applicable)
Include any additional information you learn about your coverage provider you believe may be helpful. The more information you can collect, the easier it will be for your loved ones to file a claim.
Storing Life Insurance Records
With all your life insurance information gathered and organized, you will need to store the records in at least two locations. The first and most obvious location is in your home. Keep the information alongside your other financial records in a safe location, ideally in a fireproof and waterproof container such as a safe.
Next, you will want to keep a secondary copy of your records off-site. Consider renting a safe deposit box at your local bank. Another option is asking your accountant or financial advisor to keep the records on your behalf. Wherever you decide to keep your off-site records, make sure your loved ones know where to look if your home records are destroyed.
Lastly, it may be tempting to keep life insurance records on electronic devices or in the cloud. This isn’t recommended. In an age of cybercrime and identity theft, keeping financial data on a portable flash drive, laptop, or virtually is a risky proposition. Safe keeping paper files in two locations remains the best method to store your life insurance records.