Are old life insurance policies usually worth much?

edited 26 January at 4:21AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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Jeff_EJeff_E Forumite
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edited 26 January at 4:21AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate

So I've been going through my dad's stuff and found a couple of references to old insurance policies in a letter. One from the 1950s, another from the 1970s. As the letters referring to them are from 1999, I get the impression they must have been fully paid, and are still valid. I've phoned the insurance company up and requested a claim form, but like an idiot I forgot to ask how much they might be worth. Are they likely to be worth much in today's money?

I don't really know that much about life insurance, as I don't have any myself, but I'm assuming it depends if they the money stays invested on the stock market or whatever, and it keeps on accumulating after the final payment is paid in by the person that took it out. Or is it the case that the final amount you get is the amount agreed when the policy was started? - Which I assume if it was started and paid off decades before, will have probably badly deprecated by the present day?

Thanks for any help.


  • edited 26 January at 10:56AM
    MalthusianMalthusian Forumite
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    edited 26 January at 10:56AM
    Could be either. Could be anything. Some life insurance policies pay a fixed amount on death within the term, some are linked to the stockmarket, some are a hybrid of the two.
    Given the age of the policies and that the last statement you can find is over 20 years old, it is more than possible they expired or were cashed in decades ago. I would assume they're worth nothing and treat any windfall as a nice surprise.
    You didn't say when your dad died, but if it was recent, for a policy from the 70s (let alone the 50s) to still be alive and kicking it would almost certainly have to be a whole-of-life policy. Anything whole-of-life should have been sending him statements every year.
    Any particular reason you don't have life insurance for yourself? Do you have anyone dependent on you? If you became unable to work would you have enough money to live on?
  • GersGers Forumite
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    My parents had a paid up Life Assurance from the Prudential, dated 1957!  When Dad died in 1998 I received approx. £1500 and had to assign the policy to Mum.  She died last year and the claim was paid within days, something like £3000.  The original policy document and number was needed but the process was simple.  It's worth enquiring.

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