Life Insurance Association Singapore: New online register of unclaimed proceeds experiences glitch

The register has been down since 11am on Jan 4, 2016.
The register has been down since 11am on Jan 4, 2016.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM LIA.ORG.SG

SINGAPORE - A new online register of unclaimed proceeds by the Life Insurance Association, Singapore (LIA) has attracted so much interest among Singaporeans that it has been down the whole day from about 11 am (Jan 4).

Members of the public could use the register to check if it has listed policies with unclaimed maturity proceeds outstanding for more than 12 months belonging to them or deceased relatives.

The unclaimed proceeds are from thousands of small-value policies which policyholders or their beneficiaries have failed to collect. As at end Sep 2015, there are 8,185 policyholders across the industry with payouts due to them.

You can check out the LIA Register of Unclaimed Life Insurance Proceeds at http://www.lia.org.sg/consumers/unclaimed-proceeds/list

Incredibly, some of this bounty is owing to people who have simply forgotten to claim it.

Financial experts say that while this does happen, other reasons for the absence of takers range from policyholders who have changed their mailing addresses, forgotten to pay premiums, gone missing and migrated, to those who have died without leaving a will.

For years, individual insurers have been making efforts to trace claimants through various means including sending advisers to contact their clients, placing newspaper advertisements and listing unclaimed proceeds on the company's website.

The LIA list will be updated once every six months and it will show information such as the policyholder's name, his identification number which will be masked and the life insurance company's name.

There are two search options - the policyholder's name and the life insurance company's name - available for the public to use.

Even with the register in place, LIA said life insurers will continue to do what they have been doing on a company basis to trace claimants.

lornat@sph.com.sg