Protecting our financial future is something that many people work towards. This can be done by taking out a life insurance policy or investing in unit trust funds. However, a recent report by Business Insider revealed that there is R17.1 Billion that is still waiting to be claimed.
There are almost 150,000 policies and unit trusts that have remained unclaimed. Furthermore, financial companies managed to trace owners of these unclaimed policies and investment which were only to the value of R8.1 Billion.
But why are South African’s not claiming money that is due to them?
The research revealed that many South African’s took out policies or invested in unit trusts but didn’t tell their loved ones. Others died without letting the heirs to their wealth know about it, leaving financial companies sitting on a lump sum of money. There are still 147,000 policies that have been left unclaimed leaving finance companies with R17.1 billion in unpaid policies. Therefore, it is vital for people who take out life insurance policies, funeral policies, and unit trust investments to tell their beneficiaries about it to ease the claim process.
What do financial companies do with unclaimed money?
Financial companies are held accountable by the Financial Service Board (FSB) who ensure that consumers are fairly treated. This means that companies who provide life insurance policies, funeral policies, and unit trusts are obliged to keep their promise of paying out the beneficiaries. They are obliged to search for the investors or beneficiaries for at least three years before they can list it as unclaimed. However, if a beneficiary has passed on or moved abroad without alerting the company it can make it difficult for the claims process to run smoothly.
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What can you do to make the claims process a smooth one?
The claim process is a straight forward one once you know what is needed. However, the first step is to tell your beneficiaries or a trusted loved one that you have taken out a policy so that they are aware of it. Other things to make the claim process smoother are:
Always remember to read the fine print to your life insurance policy to have a smooth process when it comes to placing a claim. You can also speak to a financial advisor or a call centre agent to have the information clarified to you before you take out a policy.