What happens when a loved one dies without telling anybody in the family that they had a life insurance policy? It becomes an unclaimed life insurance policy.
One estimate is that a billion dollars in life insurance money goes unclaimed every year. Life insurance companies are not required to monitor death records or search for beneficiaries, although some do. And often those beneficiaries have no idea there’s a policy out there. So, side tip: it’s a good idea to make a list of all of your financial accounts, including life insurance, for your heirs to reference if you die. But back to the treasure hunt:
Number 1: The classic way to sleuth out lost life insurance policies is old fashioned detective work and following the paper trail. Call the insurance agent who sold your loved one car or homeowner’s insurance because often they sell life insurance too. Talk to their former employers and/or unions to see if there was a work-related life insurance policy. Look at canceled checks, bank statements, and tax returns to see if you can spot an insurance company name based on payments they made or dividends they received.
Number 2: You can sometimes find lost life insurance policies through the same two free websites that I always recommend, MissingMoney.com and unclaimed.org, (remember .org!) And those are the first 2 places you
Number 3: But there is also a specific site just for inquiring about lost lifeinsurance policies. It’s run by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. If you’re not sure your loved one had life insurance, and you’re just fishing, this is where I suggest you search because it’s free. You have to be the executor or legal representative of someone who has died, to make an inquiry through the NAIC site. The NAIC forwards your inquiry
to all participating insurance companies. They then research and see if they do, indeed, have a life insurance policy under the name you searched. Number 4: If you are fairly certain a deceased friend or family member had a life insurance policy, and the NAIC search doesn’t turn it up, it may be worth it to pay for a search. PolicyLocator.com charges $75 to search and
see if the individual in question ever applied for life insurance with its 420 member companies. If they did, you will receive contact information to inquire further with the insurance company. There you go. 4 ways to search for lost life insurance policies.