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How to File a Life Insurance Claim

Bookmark and Share Life insurance beneficiaries are responsible to file claims for the funds to which they are entitled. If you're a beneficiary of one or more life insurance policies, know how to file a claim and receive the money reserved for you.

Find the Policies

Before you can file a claim, you should find all the insurance policies or proofs of insurance certificates in which you may be named a beneficiary. Check filing cabinets, safes and bank safe deposit boxes for the documents you need.

Remember to check for group policies, too. Contact the deceased person's former employers, banks, credit agencies, social groups and professional groups to find evidence of group policy coverage.

If you can't find any policies or certificates of insurance, contact insurance agencies that may have issued the policies. You can also search financial records for any evidence of life insurance premium payments, contact the state insurance department to find the policy or hire a reputable company to locate the policy for you.

Contact the Insurance Agency

Once you find the life insurance policies, obtain a valid copy of the deceased person's death certificate. Then contact the insurance agency that issued the policy. They will have paperwork for you to complete, so call the agency's policyholder services department as soon as possible to begin the claim filing process. If you cannot fill out the paperwork yourself, the insurance agent will do it for you, and you will only need to sign your name.

Remember that you may also need to have to fill out IRS Form W-9. It allows the insurance company to notify the IRS if you receive an interest payment on the policy's value. The insurance company will give you more information about whether or not this form is needed.

Wait for the Claim to be Processed

Many life insurance claims are paid within a few days. You may elect to receive your life insurance benefits in several ways. Select a lump-sum cash payment and invest or spend the money or choose a settlement option.

To receive the funds, the policy must be current, and all conditions must be met. Claims are most often delayed because the death certificate isn't valid, the person died within two years of the policy's original issue date or the policy contains false information.

How to Find a Lost Life Insurance Policy

Bookmark and Share As many as one in 600 people are the beneficiaries of a lost or forgotten life insurance policy. Those policies amount to one billion dollars in unclaimed cash. What would you do with found life insurance policy money? Find out how you and your loved ones can find a lost policy and get the money you are owed.

Search the House

The filing cabinet, safe or pile of important papers in your home or the home of your loved ones could be concealing a life insurance policy. Check all these and other hiding spots carefully before you start a bigger investigation.

Remember When You Purchased the Policy

Try to remember any details about the life insurance policy purchase. If possible, record the name and Social Security number of the policy's purchaser, the selling agent, insurance company, date of purchase and type of policy. Use these details to contact the insurance company that sold the policy and get a copy of it. Consider contacting the attorney, accountant or financial advisor, too, if they have knowledge of a possible life insurance policy.

Search Financial Documents

Bank and credit card statements may hold clues to the whereabouts of a lost life insurance policy. Use them to find the issuing insurance agency and the missing policy.

Contact the State Insurance Department

Insurance companies that cannot locate policy beneficiaries must turn the benefits over to the unclaimed property office in the state. Visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website and find the contact information for the insurance department in the state that issued the policy.

Contact Former Employers

Employers sometimes issue group life insurance policies. Contact former employers for information on possible life insurance policies.

Avoid Scammers

Scammers may find out that you're looking for a life insurance policy and contact you with a claim that they can help you find your unclaimed funds. Don't discuss your case with anyone until you call your insurance company directly and verify an offer for help.

Prevent Losing an Insurance Policy

These tips can help you find a lost life insurance policy. However, consider avoiding this challenge in the first place when you:

  • Clearly name all beneficiaries on life insurance policies.

  • Inform beneficiaries about the policy and provide the names of the insurance agent and issuing agency.

  • Store your insurance policy and any related documents in a logical place like a fireproof safe or safety deposit box. Give a copy to a trusted advisor, lawyer or loved one, too.

How to Choose the Right Walking Shoes

Bookmark and Share Exercise walking is fun and provides numerous health benefits, but like all exercise, it requires the right equipment. Wear the wrong shoes, and you will end up with sore feet and maybe even an injury. Take your time and invest in the right shoes for your feet and needs.

Advantages of the Right Walking Shoes

Before you buy walking shoes, examine them and try them on. Look for stability, flexibility and comfort as you prepare for safe workouts. The right shoes give you balance and correct your foot's natural inward roll (pronation) or outward roll (supination). They also help you maintain proper posture and protect your spine, back and muscles.

Four Main Components of a Good Walking Shoe

There are four main components of quality walking shoes. Examine each part before you make any purchases.

  • Heel counter - The area of the shoe under your Achilles tendon should be snug and cup the back of your heel to prevent pronation or supination.

  • Midsole - The area between the shoe's tread and its upper should provide cushioning, support and flexibility. This component is the most important one.

  • Insole - The area of the shoe where your foot's sole comes in contact with the shoe should be contoured to match your foot. It reduces shear forces and provides shock absorption.

  • Toe box - The area surrounding your toes should be roomy enough for them to move freely and wiggle and bend without restriction but not too roomy or your foot will shift and feel uncomfortable. Ideally, select shoes with a toe box of at least one-half to one full thumb's width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
How to Try On Walking Shoes

After you find a pair of shoes you like, try them on. Make sure they fit right and feel comfortable.

First, ask the salesperson to measure the dimensions of both feet. To get an accurate reading, stand up because your feet expand when they bear weight. Visit the store at the end of the day, too, as your feet swell during the day.

Remember to wear regular socks and try on both shoes. Lace them completely and stand up and walk around to make sure they fit your foot properly and feel comfortable.

Never buy walking shoes that are too tight. Almost all shoes require a breaking in period, but shoes that are too tight won't get bigger. However, if you need arch supports or orthotics, feel free to wear those supplements as you obtain the best f

What Could Muscle Pain Mean?

Bookmark and Share Your body contains over 600 muscles. When one or more of them hurts, it's hard to concentrate at work, focus at home or function in everyday life. Instead of tolerating muscle pain or myalgia, learn more about what it means so you can fix it and feel better.

What Causes Muscle Pain?

You may experience myalgia at any time. It can occur when you overuse certain muscles while   working, exercising or playing. Medications, including ACE inhibitors that lower blood pressure and statins that lower cholesterol, can also trigger muscle pain. Rest, pain relievers, hot and cold compresses and certain exercises can reduce or alleviate the discomfort.

However, sometimes your muscle pain is not associated with an activity. It may indicate an underlying condition such as the flu, hormonal imbalance or vitamin D or B12 deficiency. Hepatitis, bacterial infection, Lyme disease, roundworm infection and autoimmune conditions such as lupus or multiple sclerosis can also be causes of myalgia.

What Does Muscle Pain Feel Like?

No matter what causes it, myalgia can exhibit itself in several ways.

  • Pain in one or multiple areas

  • Dull, sharp, intermittent or consistent pain

  • Ongoing pain even when you're at rest

  • Twitching or painful cramps

  • Numbness, tingling or burning sensations

  • Joint pain

What are the Complications of Muscle Pain?

While muscle pain can be treated, there are complications that could signal a more serious problem. You may need to do more than rest or use a heating pad if you experience these signs.

  • High fever

  • Shortness of breath

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Water retention

  • Inability to move a part of your body

  • Muscle stiffness  

  • Muscle atrophy
When Should You Seek Medical Help?

You can treat your muscle pain at home with rest, pain medication, topical treatments and certain exercises. See your doctor, though, if these conditions exist.

  • Persistent pain lasts more than 3 days

  • Severe pain

  • Signs of infection

  • Any swelling, redness or rash around the muscle

  • Changes you make to your hypertension or cholesterol medication dosage
How Can You Prevent Muscle Pain?

To avoid muscle pain, you can take several steps. Perform proper warm up and cool down exercises when you work out, stretch before engaging in any rigorous activity, don't sit or stand in one position for too long and stay physically active.