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How to Find a Life Insurance Policy After Death

Life Insurance Companies May Not Contact Beneficiaries

After facing a loved one’s death, life insurance can help provide necessary financial security to pay for funeral expenses and supplement lost income. In most cases, when someone takes out life insurance, he or she lets the named beneficiaries (often family members of the insured) know about it. That way, when the policyholder dies, the beneficiary or beneficiaries will know to file a claim with the life insurance company.

However, policyholders often neglect to discuss their policies with family members. Although the subject may be difficult or personal, failing to let family members know about your life insurance policy can prevent them from obtaining benefits.

In many states, insurance companies are not required to contact the beneficiaries in the event of the policyholder’s death. If your beneficiaries don’t know about the death benefit, then your policy might end up lost and unclaimed. This can create a problem for beneficiaries. How can they find out whether their loved one took out a life insurance policy?

Keep a Copy Of The Death Certificate

To make the process of claiming the death benefit easier, you’ll want to obtain a copy of the death certificate. The local county in which the person passed or the mortuary that managed their funeral will usually have paperwork. This document will provide the life insurance company with the necessary information like the date of the passing and cause of death.

Steps To Uncover a Life Insurance Policy

Looking Through Your Loved One’s Documents

The first step in finding out whether your deceased loved one had a life insurance policy is to look through their records. For instance, bank statements may record monthly premium payments, or the deceased might have received updates from the life insurance company by mail.

Searching through mail, bank statements, contact lists, taxes, etc. can shed light on whether your loved one had life insurance. Additionally, if the deceased had a lawyer, accountant, or close friend oversee his or her finances, there’s a good chance that they would know about any life insurance policies.

Looking Through a Loved One’s Digital Documents

With password encryption, it can be difficult to uncover a file on a computer or hard drive. If the file is located on a server you may be able to contact the email service or cloud storage company with proof of death.

If you do gain access to your loved one’s computer or phone, check their email for the insurer’s name. You can also try checking their cloud storage for records from the life insurance company.    

Check Insurance Databases To Verify a Loved One’s Records

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains a list of state-by-state insurance departments which may keep records of your loved one’s life insurance. They also run a “Policy Locator Service” in which the NAIC will contact insurance companies on your behalf.

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) uses a similar search tool. You can also pay a company to speak directly to insurance companies and find a missing policy. Policy Inspector is one such example, which charges via a $99 flat fee.

Check To See If The Deceased Has a Group Policy

Some employers may offer life insurance as part of their benefits. In order to obtain the benefits, you will need to reach out to the company’s benefits administrator.

One thing to note is that typically the life insurance policy does not carry over if your loved one left the company. The life insurance policy may also have been offered through the deceased person’s union. If this is the case, a union representative will typically reach out to the beneficiary.       

Do I Really Need To Hire An Attorney For a Life Insurance Case?

Though it may seem like a cut and dry process, if a life insurance company has the opportunity to reject a claim with any plausible excuse, they won’t hesitate to do so. It’s important to always consult an attorney with the skills and experience to get you the benefits you deserve. If you’re experiencing any kind of push back from a life insurance company, call our firm today at 1-855-865-4335

Written By: Chad Boonswang
Chad G. Boonswang, Esquire is a litigation lawyer based in Philadelphia, PA. Selected as an ASLA 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Top 100 Litigation Lawyer, Mr. Boonswang plays to win. As a lawyer, athlete, and scholar, he has always put in the energy, time, and commitment to be the best. After working for several prominent law firms in Philadelphia, including Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP, he founded his own practice in 2002.  Since then Chad has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients from life insurance claims and catastrophic injury cases.  Year after year, he has earned a 10.00 Superb rating on Avvo.

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