Can an Insurance Company Change the Beneficiary?

There are several factors which may trigger a policy owner to decide and change his or her beneficiary on record. This may be influenced by marriage, additional children in the family, acquisition of more assets, divorce, change in his philosophy or unfortunate encounter with the listed beneficiary on file. In all instances, no one can hinder the policy owner to proceed with his desire. He has every right to do so but if somebody else’s aside from him will do the request, even if it is the insurance company itself then it will be big NO.

According to the federal law, any surety company has no right to change the beneficiary of an insurance policy unless otherwise instructed by the insured and under exceptional conditions. Upon the death of an insured or policy owner then those who wish to file beneficiary disputes may do so, nevertheless the decision of the policy owner remains in effect unless declared otherwise by the court.

Revocable vs Irrevocable Beneficiaries
There are two types of beneficiaries: the revocable and the irrevocable beneficiary. Revocable beneficiaries can easily be replaced by a new name while irrevocable beneficiaries requires a more complicated legal procedure. At times, even if it is the intention of the policy owner to change the irrevocable beneficiary on record but the irrevocable beneficiary does not wish this so, then the case may be forwarded to court for legal settlement.

The Process of Changing a Beneficiary on File
Normal procedure of changing the name of a beneficiary entails filling out an official form provided by the insurance company. It should be duly signed by the policy holder and at times a medallion signature guarantee may be required especially for policies that are worth several thousands of dollars. All the necessary information should be filled in like the Group Policy Number, Insurers Registered Name on File, Certificate Number of the Policy and the complete name of the new beneficiary. In some instances, the company may also require a witness signature on the document to further strengthen the authenticity of the request.

Special Cases Determined By Law
There are several instances that may give power to the insurance company to assign a different beneficiary other than the one listed on record but this should be properly noted and documented in court. It may be a long and difficult assessment before the court finally gives a person or the company the right to proceed with changing the name on file only on several exceptional cases.

Some policy owners provide a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) to their family members or business partners who manages their business concerns. If the SPA presented is notarized and authenticated, then the change of beneficiary name may be effective. Otherwise, only the signature of the policy owner is honored by the state as well as the surety company.

There are also some cases wherein the beneficiary on record cannot be found. If this happens then the only alternative is to put the entire policy into the estate of the deceased person.