Rhode Island Steps In To Recover Abandoned Life Insurance Property

When it came to Treasury’s attention that life insurance companies may have unclaimed funds owed to Rhode Islanders, we stepped in on their behalf to give them an opportunity to recover the money. Holding life insurers accountable is one of several ways that Treasury is helping people find their missing money.

Rhode Island is one of 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia, working with Verus Financial to conduct audits of 13 different life insurance companies in an effort to recover abandoned life insurance property. It is one of three audit firms the state works with to track down money owed to Rhode Islanders.

Verus’ mission is to conduct complex unclaimed property audits of national financial institutions, including insurance companies.The firm audits, identifies, collects and delivers unclaimed property from life insurance companies that are required to report and deliver property under the RI Unclaimed Property Law. Once a property holder is identified, the insurance company is notified and given one final opportunity to return the money. If the insurance company is not successful, the property is turned over to the state.

As a result of this agreement, Treasury’s Unclaimed Property team has found nearly $12 million in life insurance proceeds for more than 9,000 Rhode Islanders. So far, almost $2.3 million has been returned to more than 1,100 rightful owners and more than $9.5 million remains to be claimed by about 8,000 Rhode Islanders. The average amount of each claim is more than $1,000.

Tracking down these unclaimed life insurance proceeds is an example of government working for people, especially in these challenging times.

Recently, my office launched three videos featuring Rhode Islanders who have found their missing money. These Rhode Islanders participated in this film project in the hopes that their stories would inspire others to search.

Maureen King of Warwick, RI searched for her husband’s name on Rhode Island’s Unclaimed Property list and found more than $11,000.

Lugarde Baris of Pawtucket, RI received $10,000 in life insurance proceeds from her sister. 

Sharon Finn of Cranston, RI found more than $46,000 from her brother’s life insurance claim.

Visit RI Treasury’s YouTube Page to see all the videos.

These families are just three examples of the thousands of Rhode Islanders who are owed more than $275 million in unclaimed property. Unclaimed property includes bank accounts, bonds, IRAs, safe deposit contents, uncashed checks, utility deposits and more.

The unclaimed property online searchable list is regularly updated and contains hundreds of thousands of claimable properties. I encourage you to search our online database today to see if you are missing money and I also ask you to please help spread the word amongst your friends, neighbors and family members.

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