Basic (09-87)

GN 00302.575 Insurance Policies (Life, Health, Accident, Burial, etc.)

A. General

Evidence of the individual's age at a given time or of his/her exact DB may be available on an insurance policy in the claimant's possession. In most cases, the policy itself will show only the claimant's age in relations to the date the policy was issued.

B. Common types

Two of the most common types of insurance policies the claimant may possess are:

  • Ordinary life insurance policy

    • Issued in amount of $1000 or more

    • Premium is payable on annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly basis

    • Usually shows only age of insured as of birthday nearest to the date the policy was issued

    • Usually has attached a copy of the application for the policy showing exact DB.

  • Industrial life insurance policy

    • Issued in small amounts usually not over $500

    • Premiums stated in weekly amounts and generally collected at the home by an agent of the company

    • Generally shows only age of insured

    • In absence of showing to contrary, age shown is age at next birthday as of the time policy was issued

    • No application is attached.

C. DO development guidelines

The following chart shows the DO what development guidelines to use in determining a person's age or DB from an insurance policy:

IF the policy is... AND... THEN...

Ordinary life insurance

Has application attached

Take DB information from application, rather than policy

Ordinary or industrial life insurance

  • Has no application attached, or

  • Policy has been surrendered

  • Do not ask an insurance company about the policy unless there is a cooperative agreement between the DO and the company.

  • You may, however, help the claimant get from the company a certificate or date of the record.

NOTE:  Such help may include preparation of a letter for the claimant's signature. The letter will:

  • Request whenever possible that information be sent directly to DO;

  • Always indicate type and number of policy;

  • Show present street address of insured and if the policy is industrial life policy still in force; and

  • Show address of insured when policy lapsed, if policy lapsed industrial life policy.

Other type (e.g., group, burial)

  • In the absence of evidence to contrary, consider age to have been given as of either the next or last birthday if to do so would yield the same DB as other documentary evidence in file (including OCRO record).

  • Otherwise, do additional development.


Unknown type


  • Document file with sufficient information to show what type of policy is involved.

  • If DB or age as of particular birthday (last, next, or nearest) is not shown, undertake further development to determine type of policy.


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GN 00302.575 - Insurance Policies (Life, Health, Accident, Burial, etc.) - 01/14/1999
Batch run: 07/22/2021