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How to find a lost life insurance policy

Oct 16, 2020 3 Minute Read

Keys. Wallet. Term life plan? 

Since people often hold insurance for decades at a time, missing policies aren’t uncommon. Case in point: the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has helped people claim over $650 million in missing life insurance money since 2016 alone.

If a relative has died but you can’t locate their plan, your family could be losing out on financial support they may need to pay the mortgage, cover daily expenses, or save for the future. Got a lost life insurance policy? Here are a few ways to turn it up.

How to find missing life insurance policies

Hopefully, you’ll know exactly where to find your partner’s, parents’, or other loved one’s life insurance in case the worst happens. But life doesn’t always work that way.

If you’re not sure how to find your life insurance policy, then start with the obvious. Search for any insurance-related paperwork in all the most likely places: desk drawers, file cabinets, and bank safe deposit boxes.

Try to locate any legal or financial professionals your relative worked with, since they might know more about potential policies or insurance contacts.

No luck? The next step is to track a lost life insurance policy down. If you’re a beneficiary, all you’ll need to know to claim the payout is the name of the insurance company that issued the policy. Here’s where to start. 

Use a locator service

Many states have registries where you can search active policies with all insurers licensed to do business there.

You’ll need to provide basic information: name, date of birth and death, and a death certificate. The registry will then forward it to the insurers, and they’ll contact you if you’re a beneficiary, immediate family member, or executor of the estate.

In 2016, the NAIC launched a free locator tool to help people track down their policies nationwide. When you submit a request, the organization checks with participating insurers for plans under your relative’s name. 

You can also search the MIB Group, which holds records of all policy applications going back to 1996. Keep in mind that you do have to be legally authorized to request someone else’s report. The company also offers fee-based services and can point you to other policy finders.

Watch for paperwork

If searches are getting you nowhere, try checking mail and email accounts. If you’ve lost track of your or your relative’s active policy, you should still eventually receive statements, invoices, or other payment requests. Credit card statements or bank records may also show evidence of premiums paid over time. 

With a permanent policy, any income received from the interest should be visible on yearly tax returns.

Contact their employer

Your loved one could have group or employer-provided life insurance, which means policy information should be available at their workplace. Get in touch with their employer, who should be able to let you know if they were on the company’s group insurance plan or were using the benefit.

Check with unclaimed property programs

Life insurance companies that know a policyholder is deceased but can’t locate the beneficiaries will eventually turn over any payouts to their state’s unclaimed property program. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) has a directory of all state programs. 

Right place, right time 

Ultimately, a little communication ahead of time can save some big headaches later. Avoid this own situation with your loved ones by letting them know about your policy and where to find it.

If you still aren’t sure how to go about finding your missing life insurance policy, let us help. Get in touch with us to speak with an agent today.


At eFinancial, our goal is to make life insurance simple, affordable, and understandable for everyday families. This content is intended for educational purposes only. Each post is carefully fact-checked, reviewed and updated regularly to ensure the information is as relevant as possible.