How to find your “unclaimed” riches

It’s the end of financial year, which means it’s time to get all your receipts together so you can file your tax and hopefully enjoy a tidy little tax return.

But there may be another way to access some “free money”.

My eyes were recently opened to a little-known “unclaimed money” search – and it’s already paying dividends for my family.


It was actually my father-in-law who cottoned onto our unclaimed funds, which have apparently been quietly sitting with the public trustee for roughly 15 years.

A quick search of our surname revealed four outstanding sums:

Ergon Energy owes us 0.03c.

Insurance Australia Group is holding onto $7.98.

NRMA Insurance is in the hole for $9.05.

And CGU Insurance is our golden ticket holder, with a whopping $397.45 of our hard-earned coins in their coffers.

It’s this last amount that we are obviously chasing up in earnest. Looking back through my files, I can see it relates to car insurance we held with them around 17 years ago, for a car we no longer own, which was once involved in an accident.

I assume this was where the forgotten funds came into play – some sort of refund on insurance for a car that had been totaled? – because I can assure you that I’m not in the habit of misplacing almost $400 without noticing!

But here’s the thing. Identifying that you are owed money is the easy part. Proving that you are who you say you are and actually getting that money back is quite another!

There are forms to fill out, which must be witnessed by a JP; certified copies of your ID must be attached to the form, and you may need to show evidence of the last known address you held when the funds were ‘misplaced’. All of this, plus you need to fill out a statutory declaration.

But with some potentially big sums just sitting collecting dust, it’s worth all the rigmarole!

To search for your own unclaimed riches, search your name here.