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Find out what happened to a life insurance company no longer in business 

Family members should not assume that because a life insurance company is no longer in business that policy benefits are gone forever. Over the years hundreds of life insurance companies have changed name or merged with others, and policies are still valid.

Even if your insurance company failed and no longer exists, payment of benefits is still possible. Each state has an insurance guaranty association (GA) that backs up insurance company policies in the event of the insurance company's bankruptcy. Guaranty Associations are funded by assessments on insurance companies licensed to do business in a particular state.

The amount of insurance protection provided by a Guaranty Association varies by state and type of insurance. Most commonly, insurance limits are set at:

  • $300,000 in life insurance death benefits

  • $100,000 in cash surrender or withdrawal values for life insurance

  • $100,000 in withdrawal and cash values for annuities

  • $100,000 in health insurance policy benefits

The overall benefit cap in most states for an individual life is $300,000, although some states have maximums that are much higher. The above coverage limits apply separately for each insolvent insurer.

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