When an individual passes away anyone that can pay for a Social Security Administration service called the Death Master can have access to their records, according to FOX Business. These records contain a person’s Social Security number, birth date and last known address.
The service is intended to be used by the federal government, financial, investigative, credit reporting organizations, medical research and other companies to verify death and help prevent against fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Life insurance companies monitor this database so that they do not have to make annuity payments to individuals who have died. However, some insurance companies are not using the database to its full capacity, to make payments to beneficiaries, according to the Florida Insurance Commissioner.
"[Our] examination … is complicated by the lack of victims that have come forth," Jack McDermott, director of communications for Florida's insurance department, told the media outlet. "Many of these potential beneficiaries are completely unaware that a life insurance policy was in force and unaware that they are entitled to these funds."