insurance

Sniffing out life insurance fraud

Don TaylorQuestionDear Dr. Don,
I have been told that a relative of mine may have illegally forged my name and took out a life insurance policy on me. How do I find this out?
-- Georgia Gravitas

AnswerDear Georgia,
There's a consumer reporting agency, or CRA, for the insurance industry called the MIB Group Inc. Just like the credit bureaus, you're entitled to one free consumer report each year from the MIB Group. 

The group is an industry trade association owned by about 470 member firms. MIB has as its primary mission to detect and deter fraud that may occur in the course of obtaining life insurance as well as health, disability income, critical illness and long-term care insurance. It will provide one free report annually for those consumers, using a streamlined process.

You'll have a consumer file if there have been any applications for individually underwritten life insurance over the past seven years. You also would have such a file for health or disability income insurance over the same period. According to the MIB website, the file will contain:

  • The nature and substance of information that MIB may have in its consumer files pertaining to you.
  • The name(s) of the MIB member companies that reported information to MIB.
  • The name(s) of the MIB member companies that received a copy of your MIB consumer file during the 24-month period preceding your request for disclosure.

If your consumer report doesn't answer your concern about a fraudulent life insurance policy, reach out to your state's insurance commissioner. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, or NAIC, has a map with links to the state commissioners on its website.

MIB Solutions also runs a policy locator service, but at this time it only allows searches of deceased individuals. You can't request a search on yourself.

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