How Should I Organize And Store My Life Insurance Records?
If you find yourself looking at a pile of paperwork whenever you need a document, this is for you. You will probably seek life insurance records in very urgent situations. This means storing and organising them properly becomes even more critical. If you require these documents quickly, you don’t want to dig into a mess.
But, is there a way to keep all this information handy? Moreover, what are the files and details that you could be required to furnish? Answering all these questions brings you closer to effective management of your records. This can save you a lot of time and mental peace when you are in a stressful situation.
How should you organise the records?
More often than not, most people possess more than one life insurance policy. This makes organising all details and papers very crucial. This will help you avoid missing premium deadlines and falling behind on gaining all benefits.
For efficiently managing all paperwork, make sure you go through the following steps:
Collect all information
While noting down details from your insurance policy records, start by ensuring you check all these boxes:
- Name of the insurance company which has provided the insurance policy
- Location of the head office or the home office of the insurance provider
- The policy number
- Date of issue of policy
- Type of policy – whether it is term insurance, whole life, or otherwise
- Death benefit – the amount of the policy
- Name and contact details of your agent/broker through whom you got the policy
Keep a note of these details separately in a diary. This way, you can refer to the information without opening all your paperwork and files again and again. You can also mark when to pay premium in your calendar, so no due dates are skipped.
Decide your storage locations
You may need to refer to your life insurance records quite frequently for many purposes. But keeping the original documents out in the open can be risky. For storing something as important as insurance records, one place is just not enough.
Make one or two copies of these documents so you can keep them at separate locations. This way, even if one record is misplaced, you have another one to fall back on. You can also leave copies of the records with an attorney or a family member you trust. This expands the area and reduces the risk of you losing this important paperwork.
The golden rule for organising records is labelling your files. This helps you avoid the task of flipping through pages while looking for what you need.
Find a safe spot for the originals
Original life insurance documents must be kept at safe locations. This is because they would have to be furnished while filing any claim. These should be kept from getting lost or misplaced. Moreover, you should safeguard these documents against any potential damage. This includes fires or even natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes.
Many people prefer keeping these in a locker that is far from destruction. This can also be kept in a safe at banks, as they provide the protection required. All you have to do is remember where you kept the documents. Moreover, store them in a place that is easily accessible when needed.
Maintain soft copies
As we are moving to a digital age, most of the records are kept as soft copies. In fact, the IRDAI has issued provisions for keeping the documents safely in electronic form. Many policies are now directly issued online only. These can be conveniently retrieved and stored, reducing the cost of maintaining the files. It gives you faster access to your details as well.
You can store the official records in your Digilocker. The Government of India has developed this facility. This is a great option because it also provides cover under the IT Act. If not this, you can simply save the scanned copies on your laptop. Upload them on your cloud to gain access from anywhere.
Having electronic copies makes sharing the files easier and faster. What is the bonus? This also saves a lot of paper and reduces waste.
Inform your beneficiaries
It is essential that you systematically store your records. But the story doesn’t end here. We are talking about life insurance. This means it would be needed in a scenario where the policyholder is not capable of furnishing the details.
In such a case, the beneficiaries must be aware of the location and details of the records. So while noting all details and sorting all files, keep your trusted ones in the loop. When the situation comes where these records are needed, all your organising skills must not go to waste. This will help the beneficiaries file for a claim in time. This way, they can attain all the financial support that the insurance will provide.