Unclaimed life insurance policies
A life insurance policy provides money for dependants if you die. You may need life insurance if you have family or others who rely on you. If you are thinking about taking out insurance, you can find information about the different types of life insurance on ccpc.ie.
Insurance companies must try to get in touch with policy owners they have lost contact with.
If the insurance company cannot find the owners, they classify the policy as unclaimed.
When is a life insurance policy unclaimed?
If you have a life insurance policy, it becomes unclaimed:
- 15 years after your last communication to the insurance provider, unless the policy was for a specific length of time
- 5 years after the end of the term if the policy was for a specific length of time (or 5 years after you last contacted the insurance provider if that is later)
You have the right to claim the money in your unclaimed life assurance policy at any time.
What life insurance policies are covered?
The Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 applies to insurance companies in Ireland and life assurance policies where the policy holder has an address in Ireland. Policies not covered are those that form part of the assets of:
- Occupational pension schemes
- Group health insurance or disability benefit schemes
- Sponsored superannuation schemes
Insurance company responsibilities
Insurance companies must:
- Keep a register of unclaimed policies
- Contact customers whose life insurance policies are worth €500 or more and tell them how to claim for the policies
- Advertise in the national press each year to inform customers whose policies are worth less than €500
The Dormant Account Fund
The insurance companies must calculate the cash value of unclaimed life insurance policies on the date that they are transferred to the Dormant Accounts Fund.
The NTMA invests Dormant Accounts Fund and distributes its earnings to programmes or projects helping people with disabilities and people who are disadvantaged economically, socially, or educationally. This distribution is organised by the Dormant Accounts Disbursement Fund.
How to apply
Contact the policy provider. Insurance Ireland is the representative body for the sector and it provides a directory of insurance providers that lists all its members.
Insurance Ireland provides an Unclaimed Insurance Policy Enquiry Form (docx) that you can use for an unclaimed policy that is in your name or in the name of someone else. It provides information about what to do if you have an unclaimed policy.
If you cannot find the original insurance provider, contact Insurance Ireland. It keeps a register of providers that have changed name or address, been taken over, merged with another insurance company or closed down.