On Monday we celebrate Memorial Day, and that seems like a perfect occasion to write about something that many people may not know about until their loved one dies: life insurance policies that date back to World War II or the Korean War.
Did you know that the U.S. government issued over 22 million life insurance policies to service members between 1940 and 1951? These policies were for $10,000 and were either permanent or renewable. Today, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, there are over 950,000 of these policies still in force, and the average age of the policyholders is 81 years old.
The government began issuing life insurance policies to service members back in 1917 because commercial insurance providers either didn’t want to cover soldiers going off to World War I or charged too much to do it. (Which makes me think that their underwriters had a pretty good idea of what that war was like.)
The VA estimates that there is $33 million of unclaimed funds available, in the form of policy payments, dividend checks and refunds, because many family members do not know these policies exist. To find out if your family is eligible for any of these funds, check on the VA’s website search page.