So you finally did it! You purchased your life insurance policy! There’s nothing left to do with it now, right?
There’s a few more things you need to do first. It’s recommended to tell someone close to you who, someone you trust, or someone who might be a disinterested third party. It’s also recommended to have the information for it stowed away with your will and trust.
Next, you need to find a safe place to store your life insurance policy. Most people probably just throw in file somewhere, and don’t think about it again.
But what if you lose it? What if it’s destroyed? You can get another one, but it’s a pain the neck. And if you die and it’s missing, how will your family even know to look for one? Well here’s a list of 10 places you can store your life insurance policy, in no order.
10 Safest Places To Keep Your Life Insurance Policy
Certainly some of these might safe, but always remember to tell someone where it is, or have notes carefully detailed in your will or other belongings you leave behind.
#10 A Safe
What’s safer than a safe, right? If you have safe, even a gun safe, in your house you might consider stowing it away there. In the event of devastation, usually a safe can make it through some pretty bad times, like fires, floods or other natural disasters. Of course, make sure you know the code to get back in, so you can update your policy when needed, or so your family members can obtain your life insurance policy once you’ve passed.
#9 Your Freezer
Say what?! Yes, believe it or not, your freezer is not a bad place to store your policy. Placing it inside of a freezer-proof sealed bag and putting it in with your frozen foods can be a relatively safe spot. It’s probably safe from a thief unless they are desperately hungry and willing to bake, but it’s also safer from fire than if it were simply in a file. A heavy appliance like a freezer is also off the ground and safer from floods and a lot less likely to blow away in a tornado.
#8 A Safety Deposit Box
It goes without saying there are some extra security measures taken to ensure the safety of a safety deposit box. The only issue which could arise is the accessibility of your policy, should someone need to make a claim. It’s something you’ll need to give someone details on location and access, so have this information in someone’s hands in case you die.
#7 A Storage Facility
If you have a storage unit which you rent, it could provide a nice little haven for your policy: that is, if you keep up with your rent. Storage facilities usually come with good security. The risk here would be not keeping up with your rent fee, and losing your contents to auction. Ever seen Storage Wars? You can probably imagine they’ve come across a few life insurance policies at auction.
#6 Locked Drawer
A locked drawer could be in a filing cabinet, it could be in a desk in your office, or it could be hidden behind a picture frame in your wall if you’re super secret. A life insurance policy would fit right in with documents you store in these places, and the fact it’s locked is just one more layer of protection.
#5 Your Attorney’s Office
Some attorney’s will store important documents for their clients, like wills, trusts, POA’s (power of attorney), and other legal documents. You may not want to give up an original, but giving them either a copy or duplicate life insurance policy might save time when it’s needed. Do note, however, a duplicate or copy is not necessarily as good or as valid as the original, but it does raise awareness you actually have coverage in place.
#4 The Attic
The attic is not necessarily safe from fire or tornado’s, but there’s a good chance something in the attic will be there a while. Putting a life insurance policy in the attic next to Christmas items (or any other annually viewed item) will also be a reminder to check it once a year for things like beneficiary information, contact information, or other policy updates. If you ever move, just don’t forget to clear the attic with the rest of your belongings.
#3 A Bookshelf
Millions of Americans keep their paperbacks and encyclopedias up on a bookshelf, and this could be a subtle spot to keep your life insurance as well. These items usually aren’t shifted many times, so you can be sure your policy is going to remain dormant for quite some time. It’s also up off the ground, which is always advisable if you’re in a flood zone (or if your sump pump is ancient).
#2 The Toilet
Alright, I know we’re digging deep here, but it’s not a joke. The porcelain container behind the toilet is a pretty safe place, as long as you can be positive you can keep the stored item dry. Even tornadoes which have devastated houses have left toilets still standing. They’re heavy, rooted to the ground, and if you can keep your policy dry, it could be a potential safe spot. It goes without saying you’ll want to tell someone where it is, because I highly doubt anyone checks toilets for left behind possessions.
#1 External Hard Drive
Electronic safe keeping is here. There are plenty of places one could store data electronically. In order to keep it with you, perhaps placing vital information on a hard drive, like a scanned copy of your life insurance policy, might be an idea for you. An external hard drive can be kept in many smaller places where a life insurance policy can’t, and you can always duplicate the hard drive to have it stored in more than one place.
The name of the game is keeping a policy safe from potential damages from external life happenings, but also making someone aware of where it is. A life insurance policy can be a very powerful tool or resource, but only if someone can use it when needed. Make proper use of your policy, keep it secure, and give a trusted person access.
Have another idea? Heard of another place we missed? TELL US! We’d be happy to share! While you’re at it, share this with a friend!