All applicants for life insurance are usually required to provide personal information about their health, finances and background. The insurer uses this information to calculate risk classifications and verify your identity before granting the policy.
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, so you may be surprised if you are asked to share your SSN with someone. However, in order for a life insurance company to properly identify you, you must give your SSN and driver’s license number. However, insurers and brokers like Policygenius take important security measures to protect your privacy and keep your information safe.
Why is your insurance company asking for your Social Security number?
One common question for insurance agents is: Why do I need my Social Security number from my insurance company? Consumers are wise to ask this reasonable question, given how many cases of Social Security number theft exist.
The good news here is that more and more auto and home insurers are not asking for Social Security numbers, but instead relying on driver’s license numbers. This makes sense because most auto insurance requires a driver’s license. However, the rules and regulations for auto and home insurers vary from state to state. Some states offer stricter guidelines on the use of Social Security numbers in determining insurance assessments.
The sad news about life insurance and annuities is that almost all life insurance companies in the U.S. require Social Security numbers. I can’t imagine this changing until a national identification number is established.
- Verification: The life insurer must verify that you are indeed a person claiming coverage. They are trying to prevent fraud.
- Credit Report: Life insurance companies may check your credit report during financial underwriting. The SSN is used to determine if you have recently gone bankrupt or if you have other problems that could be considered dangerous to your credit.
- Criminal record. If you have committed a criminal offense in the past, it may affect your chances of getting life insurance. Companies use SSNs to check criminal records and criminal records.
- Medical Information Bureau: Life insurance companies use the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) to check the history of their life insurance applications. Use your SSN when accessing MIB information. That way, if you have applied for coverage in the past and have been denied life insurance, your information will show up on the MIB report.
- Dosing History: There is a database of prescription drugs or medications available from life insurance companies. They use this database at the time of purchase to look at your medication history. One way to evaluate a risk or health rating before providing a policy. An SSN is required to access this database.
Can I get life insurance without my Social Security number?
If you are an illegal immigrant, it can be difficult to get life insurance without your Social Security number. But fortunately, there are still ways to protect your loved ones when you leave this world.
There are life insurance companies that accept other forms of identification, such as passports or ITINs, to make sure you are the same insured person listed on the application.
If you don’t have an SSN or don’t want to provide an SSN, you can expect the acquisition process to be a little more cumbersome, and the fees will increase slightly as a result.
The bottom line is that if you take out life insurance and the company asks you for your Social Security number, you are likely to ask the company to shop elsewhere or to show you additional identification.
What should I do if I don’t have an SSN or driver’s license?
Many life insurance companies require a Social Security number to apply, but there are also companies that may accept other forms of identification. For example, most visa holders and permanent residents can apply for life insurance, but each company has its own admission requirements.
Other forms of identification include:
Visa or permanent residency.
Basic ID or non-driver photo ID.
Employment Approval Document (EAD).
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Taxpayer Status of U.S. withholding and filing beneficiary).
If you do not drive, you may take out life insurance with another form of identification without a driver’s license. However, if your driver’s license is suspended or revoked and you don’t have one, you will likely be denied.
The cost of life insurance depends on your individual risk profile, and the insurance company uses your SSN and driver’s license to prove your career and your identity. To prevent fraud or identity theft, you should be careful about giving sensitive information to your insurance company by working with a certified broker who will look out for you throughout the application process.