contact employers and member organizations
Contact former and current employers, as well as professional and social organizations of which your loved one was a member. Many people receive free or low-cost policies through work or as a member benefit. Even if your loved one has retired or is no longer active in these groups, the policy may still be in place.
do an online search
Several websites offer free search tools to help users find unclaimed assets, including death benefits. simply type your loved one’s name into the search box at any of the following sites:
- National Association of Insurance Commissioners – Life Insurance Policy Locator
- national association of unclaimed property managers – unclaimed.org
- Decedent’s full name, including maiden name
- social security number (ssn)
- death certificate
- proof of your relationship and/or identity
There are also companies that will look up a lost policy for your loved one and can be a helpful resource for finding out if someone has life insurance. representatives will contact hundreds of life insurance companies on your behalf to determine if your loved one had a policy. fees vary and there are scams involving this type of service, so do your research before taking this route.
call your state insurance commissioner’s office
If you haven’t had any luck finding a policy, contact your state insurance commissioner. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website lists contact information for each state office. When an authorized person makes an inquiry about a policy, the state office generally forwards the request to authorized agencies within the state. the agencies will conduct a search and, if a contract is found, they will contact you. if the person making the request is not an authorized party, the agency will not contact him or her, but will attempt to contact the designated beneficiary.
Does your living relative have life insurance?
While the best way to find out if your family member has coverage is to ask them, there are some situations where it’s not an option. For example, if your loved one is living with dementia or mental illness, they may not be able to tell you the status of their coverage. The same may be true if your relative was injured in a sudden accident or unforeseen medical emergency. If you need to find out if your living relative has life insurance, you need to follow the same steps listed above.
frequently asked questions
Who can request information about a life insurance policy?
Even after death, companies must protect the privacy of their customers. In most cases, immediate family members and policy beneficiaries can request information about a policy, but may need to provide proof to the insurance company.
what information do I need to make a claim?
To make a claim, you will need several documents:
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To start the process, simply contact the life insurance company that issued the policy and they will provide you with instructions.
what happens to death benefits if no one claims the money?
Insurance companies turn over unclaimed death benefits to the state office of unclaimed property. this is usually the state treasurer’s office. The website for the National Association of Unclaimed Property Managers lists this contact information by state.
Is it possible to be a beneficiary of life insurance and not know it?
yes, you can. there is no requirement to notify a person when you list them on a policy.
It’s important to know how to find out if someone has life insurance if you’ll be responsible for settling their estate or paying for any of their final expenses, including their funeral. the easiest way, of course, is to ask your loved ones. If that’s not an option, the steps above can help you find the critical documents you need.