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Why do Life Insurance Companies Want your Social Security Number?

Every life insurance applicant is usually asked to share private details about his or her health, finances, and background. Underwriters use this information to calculate your risk classification and to verify your identity before offering you a policy.

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Certainly, it’s important to be vigilant about keeping your SSN safe, since it’s one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. Life insurance companies need both your SSN and driver’s license numbers for identification purposes, but giving out either of these can be alarming.

But you can feel confident that insurance companies and insurance brokers like LifeInsure will take extraordinary measures to protect the sensitive information provided by life insurance applicants.

Why Life Insurance Companies Need Your Social Security Number

There are various reasons that life insurance companies require an applicant’s social security number for identification and underwriting purposes:

To confirm your identity and the identities of other insureds on the application.

To order a credit score and report that allows the underwriter to determine your risk level.

To order a report about the named insured(s) from the MIB. The MIB is a national database that collects data from insurance companies that are members of the organization. The data collected helps underwriters confirm the information provided by the applicant.

To access the prescription drug database to confirm the applicant’s prescribed medications over time.

Your social security number will allow an underwriter to confirm if a criminal record exists and if so how it would impact the risk profile.

Social Security numbers are an excellent way to verify your identity. They are universal, reliable, and can be used for everything from confirming your GPA to checking your credit score. It’s also a great way of telling if you’ve applied for life insurance already.

Can I Get Life Insurance without a Social Security Number?

If you’re an undocumented immigrant, it may be tough to get life insurance without a social security number. But luckily, there are still ways for you to protect your loved ones when you pass away.

There are life insurance companies that will accept other forms of identification such as a passport or ITIN to verify that you are the same as the named insured listed on the application.

Not having an SSN or if you’re unwilling to provide it, you can expect the underwriting process to become a little more cumbersome and a slight increase in rates as a result.

The bottom line is that when you apply for life insurance, and the company requires your social security number and you refuse, the company will likely ask you to shop elsewhere or provide additional forms of identification.

Do You Need to Provide the Social Security Number for a Beneficiary

In most cases, you will not be required to provide the social security number for any beneficiaries listed on your policy since your beneficiary is a personal choice and can be changed at will over the life of the policy.

However, when you die, your beneficiary will be required to prove that they are the person listed on your policy. Additionally, if you provide your beneficiary’s SSN, DOB, and current address on the application (and update it as needed), the claims department can expedite the death benefit to your beneficiary.

Why Does the Life Insurance Company Need My Driver’s License Number?

Simply put, all life insurance companies develop a “risk profile” that allows them to determine your rate class. Your driving habits (or bad habits) are a critical part of that profile. Your life insurance underwriter will request your driver’s license number (if you have a license to drive), in order to check your driving record for the previous five years.

Applicants that have a driving history containing serious driving violations will experience a negative impact on their risk profile and might be surcharged or even declined coverage if there is a history of reckless driving and driving under the influence.

Moreover, your driver’s license number combined with your social security number is an excellent method for determining that you are in fact, the person applying for life insurance.

How can I prevent Identity Theft or Fraud When I apply for Life Insurance?

Defending sensitive information from fraud depends on the method you will be using to purchase life insurance.

If you are completing a paper application, never email the application to the company or broker unless they offer an encrypted email system. Many companies and brokers use innovative technology that allows you to log in to their system and complete the application, or they’ll use a third-party application process like DocuSign.

If you are completing your application over the phone, take a few extra minutes to verify who you are communicating with and that they are in fact a representative or authorized broker for the insurance company:

  • Tell the person on the line that you need to make a quick call then hang up and call the main number of the insurance company or broker and ask to speak with the person you were speaking with.
  • Watch out for suspicious links that might come in an email while you are on the phone with the agent.
  • Ask the person you are on the phone with to provide their state license number and verify the number with your state’s department of insurance online.

If you feel as though the person you’re speaking with has misrepresented themself, immediately hang up and contact the National Insurance Crime Bureau or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and report the incident.

How to Purchase Life Insurance from a Reputable Company or Broker?

To feel confident about sharing personal and sensitive information, make certain that you are dealing with a highly-rated insurance company or independent broker like LifeInsure.com.

Most insurance representatives will not get offended if you ask questions about the security of your data, and if they do, stop communicating with them and go elsewhere.

The insurance professionals at LifeInsure.com provide life and disability insurance nationwide and have the technology in place to make certain that the personal information you share with them is safe and secure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy life insurance with an ITIN number?

Yes, many life insurance companies will accept an ITIN or passport in lieu of a social security number.

 

What if I don’t have the social security number for my beneficiary?

Many insurance companies do not require a beneficiary’s SSN on the application however, they will require the beneficiary’s SSN, DOB, and address when it comes to paying a death benefit.

 

What if my beneficiary refuses to give social security number?

If the beneficiary refuses to give their social security number to collect on a life insurance claim, the insurance company will likely accept another form of identification such as a passport, ITIN, or valid driver’s license.

 

Can I take out an insurance policy on my parent if I have the SSN?

Yes, you can purchase life insurance on a parent if you have their SSN however, the company will require their signature before issuing the policy.

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