WHAT if you suddenly found yourself on the receiving end of a windfall? What if years ago, a relative died and no one knew about the insurance policy that was left behind for you?

When people think about life insurance, top of mind would be the most important things: provide money for loved ones upon death, defray costs in the event of a medical emergency or illness. While those are all true and covers the most important uses of life insurance, what if those were already covered and now you are the unexpected recipient of a large amount of money. Beyond the basics, this unclaimed benefit can give you financial wiggle room for your needs and wants.

Here are five other ways you can spend your insurance claims:

1. Use it to pay estate tax

Unexpected death usually leaves behind a lot of financial loose ends, and among those, estate taxes can be the biggest expense that you need to deal with. Fortunately, a windfall can provide you with the resources you need to settle those taxes, so you can gain access to any assets left behind.

2. Invest in real estate

This is your opportunity to create passive income for yourself and your family. Buy that land, house or condo and rent it out. With a carefully thought-out real estate purchase, it can generate multiple returns on your investment.

3. Buy collectibles

Did you know certain toys, watches, luxury bags, or even sneakers can sometimes sell for millions? Collectible investment involves buying something which (hopefully) will exponentially increase in value and be worth much more than its original sale price in the future. The item could be very popular with pricing depending on the condition, rarity, and uniqueness of the item.

4. Invest in yourself

Take that master's degree you've always wanted or enroll in a certificate course that has always been at the back of your mind. Learn new skills, take up a new hobby. Whatever skill you decide to learn, investing in yourself can only result in gains for you. Whether it's for your personal use (like taking an MBA) or something you can earn from (like baking), new knowledge will always come in handy.

5. Take out another insurance policy

Strengthen your financial resilience. The great thing about life insurance is it provides a practical safety net during times of uncertainty and with your potential benefit, you can use it to reinvest in a new insurance policy that will yield another set of benefits later on.

You can choose from a variety of products depending on your need -- whether it's for protection from life's many risks or something which will help you grow your money long term such as investing it in bonds, you can never go wrong with an insurance policy.

Find out if you have benefits to claim

Do you think you have benefits to claim? AIA Philippines (formerly AIA Philam Life) recently announced its search for thousands of policyholders who have unclaimed benefits which range from policy maturities, reinstatements, claims, redemptions, and even refunds. Despite fervent efforts to contact its customers through registered mail, email, callouts, and their agents, there are still a huge number who have yet to be reached.

"We hope to reach customers-those who we have lost touch with amid changes in communications technology and who have bought their policies under our former brand, Philam Life," shared AIA Philippines Chief Operating Officer Geegee Lopez. "We are doing this because we have a promise that goes beyond passively responding when our customers make a claim. The promise of helping our customers live healthier, longer, better lives includes making sure these hard-earned benefits get to the intended recipients. We're asking for everyone's help in finding our customers or their beneficiaries so we can give them their benefits."

If that sounds like you, you can quickly check if you have unclaimed benefits via https://bit.ly/AIAPH_CheckYourMoney. Simply input the policy owner or beneficiary details and wait to be notified if you qualify for a claim.

Plus, you may even get a chance to win an all-expense-paid trip for two to El Nido, Palawan! Check out the mechanics here at https://tinyurl.com/ReuniteAIAPHPromo for more details.

To learn more about AIA Philippines, you may also visit the AIA Philippines website and AIA Philippines Facebook page, email customerservice.ph@aia.com, or call (02) 8528-2000 to know more. (Sponsored Content)