How to Find a Lost Life Insurance Policy

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Tracking down any lost life insurance policy is an important and necessary step when settling an estate or filing a life insurance claim. Finding a lost life insurance policy can make you feel a little like a private detective as it might involve looking at pass bank statement, calling around asking questions about a person that is no longer around, or digging through the policy holder’s documents to find answers. Follow some simple tips to make the process of finding lost life insurance easier.

How to Find Lost Life Insurance

It can be difficult to find a lost life insurance policy even in this age of digitally stored documents, however, it is possible. Follow some helpful steps:

  • Try contacting any financial or legal advisers like CPA’s, attorneys or bankers that the policy holder would have dealt with in handling his or her affairs.
  • Call your deceased’s previous employer. Also, check with any trade unions or professional organization he or she may have belonged to in order to see if you can find an employee or group life insurance policy that may have been taken out with them.
  • Carefully check any papers for receipts, canceled checks or other clues that would help identify that premium may have been paid to a particular insurance company and thereby helping you locate the missing life insurance policy.
  • Ask your bank for copies of old bank statements to see if any payments were made to a life insurance company over the past two years. Call the company noted on the statement and explain your situation.
  • Check for any safety deposit boxes where the decease banked. This is often a place where individuals keep important documents such as life insurance policies.
  • Check with your state’s department of financial services (this may be called Department of Revenue, Office of State Treasurer or Treasury Department in your state) to find out if the decease has any unclaimed life insurance. If the deceased purchased a policy that accumulates cash value, and the insurance company cannot locate them after a few years of the policy lapsing, then the company essentially gives the value to the policyholder’s state of residence to list as unclaimed property. If you find that you have unclaimed property (such as lost life insurance) not only can you claim the property but also you can call the company to see if any additional policies exist.
  • Medical Index Bureau (MIB) also has a service that will search for the possible existence of lost life insurance. The MIB is an insurance industry organization which helps provide accurate medical information concerning your medical history to underwriters when you apply for life insurance. For a fee, it will search their records to see if there was ever an inquiry about an application for life insurance. This does not mean that you will find a missing life insurance policy, but it does tell you that at some point, an application for life insurance was made with a particular company. This will at least point you in the direction of inquiring with that company and possibly finding the lost life insurance policy.

Lost Life Insurance Policy Canceled for Non Payment

If you locate a lost life insurance policy but found that the policy was unpaid and/or lapsed, you may still be eligible to receive a check for any accrued cash value of the policy. If you are unsure about how to obtain the cash values, call the insurance company and explain the situation to them. Be sure that you have a copy of the death certificate to supply to them. If the owner of the policy was the deceased, it is likely that they will not give you any information until you have furnished a death certificate.

TIP: Keeping up with important papers such as life insurance policies is important. A fire proof file box or a safety deposit box is always a good option. This will ensure the family will have a central location to look in case of death.

Handling the final affairs for anyone should remind you of the importance of a well planned life insurance policy. If you feel you have a need for life insurance and would like a quote on an affordable life insurance policy, click here to get a quote using the Free Advice quote center.

Read more articles about life insurance beneficiaries by clicking here.

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