Life insurance: how do you know if you are the beneficiary of a deceased insured?

Life insurance is an excellent means of investment, widely used in France. It makes it possible to build up a capital planned to be paid back to one or more beneficiaries upon the death of the subscriber. Do you think you are the beneficiary of such a contract but you do not know how to confirm it? Find out how to find out if you’ve been named a beneficiary for life insurance.

Beneficiary of life insurance: what does that imply?

Be a beneficiary of life insurance it is to have been designated by the subscriber of the insurance to receive a capital after his death.

  • The beneficiaries are chosen completely freely by the life insurance contractor, who may or may not inform them.
  • The beneficiaries do not have to be related to the insured and can be of any age.
  • The subscriber can choose one or more beneficiaries and define itself the distribution of capital between them.
  • Finally, a life insurance beneficiary can be a natural person but also a legal person (an association for example).

Insurers have obligation to find beneficiaries

When the life insurance policyholder dies, the insurer is responsible for finding the beneficiary (ies) of the contract.

For this, he can get in touch with the notary of the deceased insured but also consult the tax authorities.

Once the beneficiary (s) have been identified, the insurance company must contact them within 15 days in order to inform them of the procedures and in particular of the various documents to be provided in order to be able to release the funds due to them.

The release of funds and payment to beneficiaries then generally takes place within one month after receipt of all the documents necessary for the constitution of the file.

Sometimes the insurance company does not find any beneficiary linked to the contract of the recently deceased person or does not obtain any claims.

The contract is then said to be dormant. For a period of 10 years without a claim of funds by an identified beneficiary, the insurance company keeps the capital saved. After 10 years, the funds are transferred to the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.

It is only after 30 years that, without any manifestation of any beneficiary, the funds become property of the State. Since January 1, 2016, insurers have been required to identify dormant life insurance contracts in order to alert their beneficiaries.

How to know if you are a beneficiary life insurance

You can make a request to find the beneficiary of a life insurance contract from the AGIRA website

AGIRA is indeed responsible for locating and centralizing all beneficiaries of life insurance contracts in France whose beneficiaries have not been identified by the insurance companies.

On request via an online form or by registered mail, so you can ask AGIRA if your name appears on a life insurance contract.

In particular, for this you must provide a copy of the death certificate of the insured person of whom you believe to be the beneficiary. Within 15 days of receiving your request, AGIRA will have to do its research (with insurance companies, mutuals, provident organizations, etc.) in order to provide you with an answer.

The organizations contacted by the association then have a period ofone month to process the request.

  • Another solution to find out if you are a beneficiary of a dormant life insurance policy: make a request on Ciclade, the free online service set up by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations in 2017.
The Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation can also be consulted to find the beneficiary of a Life Insurance booklet.

Ciclade allows you to search for life insurance companies whose unclaimed funds have been transferred to Caisse des Dépôts.