Life insurance policies are contracts between the policy owner and insurance company. While beneficiaries are listed, the beneficiaries may never know that a policy exists and therefore they may not know they need to claim assets. Tracing life insurance policies can be done through several methods and resources. Policy-holders can ensure that beneficiaries receive the benefits they paid premiums on by keeping policy records easily accessible for beneficiaries to find.
Keep a copy of the insurance policy with all important documents, including your will or family trust. Giving a copy to the beneficiary is also a good idea if you feel it won't start a family feud among beneficiaries.
Name the policy as an asset in your trust or will in case the policy itself is lost. This is different that naming the trust or estate as the beneficiary of the policy. Listing the item as an asset gives beneficiaries and executors information that will allow them to pursue the benefits.
Sign up for a policy registry service such as FindYourPolicy.com. If you have many policies or beneficiaries across the country, this service is free for them to search for any policies you may have had listed with the service.
Go through all financial, home and tax records looking for any record of policy statements, agents' names or premium payments. Contact insurance companies you think have a policy and inquire.
Ask the deceased's employer if there is a group life policy. Request any paperwork to claim benefits if there is. As an aside, while speaking with the human resources department be sure to ask about retirement benefits that may pay a death claim.
Use online search services that save your time and resources for a nominal fee. MIB Group is a company that records all life insurance applications going back to 1998. Lost Life Insurance Policy Expert contacts more than 450 insurance companies on your behalf to locate any possible policies.
Write a letter to the unclaimed property department in your state. When life insurance, bank accounts and brokerage accounts are considered abandoned due to lack of correspondence or contact, the assets are held in trust by the state controller until the owner or beneficiaries claim them. The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators has state contact information at MissingMoney.com.
Things you need
- Deceased contact information
- Death certificate
- Social Security Number
- Internet access