In a bid to tackle the ongoing issue of unclaimed insurance benefits, FNB Life has embarked on an initiative to identify beneficiaries who have not submitted claims.

FNB Life says it has identified unclaimed policies to the value of more than R160 million in its books and has made a commitment to track down nominated beneficiaries, family members or the next of kin. The bank will do this by accessing and analysing data from the Department of Home Affairs to identify potential beneficiaries and pay out what is due to them. 

To date, over R5 million has been paid across different products to nominated beneficiaries who had no idea that the policies existed before they were traced. The highest claim identified was R3.6 million for life cover and R100 000 for funeral cover.

Lee Bromfield, chief executive of FNB Life, says it is concerning and unfair that consumers who have spent their hard-earned cash paying insurance premiums have to lose out on claims due to insurers not being able to contact their loved ones, or beneficiaries not being aware of the policies.

“Therefore, it was imperative that we not only place emphasis on educating consumers on measures to avoid dealing with unclaimed policies, but proactively exhausts all possible measures to assist consumers who find themselves in this unfortunate situation,” says Bromfield.

“Although many insurers place the onus on the insured to ascertain that beneficiary details are always up to date in order to pay out a claim, FNB Life equally takes on the responsibility by going the extra mile to ensure that claimed and unclaimed benefits are always paid out, where possible,” he adds.

A common reasons that often prevents insurers paying out claims is the failure to submit a valid claim and the inability to contact beneficiaries due to incomplete, missing, outdated or inaccurate information.

Moreover, consumers who have multiple policies with different insurers find it challenging to maintain and keep all beneficiaries informed about the policy. 

It is also essential that policy holders inform all their beneficiaries and family members whenever they take out cover.