After the loss of a loved one, it can be a challenge to locate a life insurance policy … or even know if one exists. After all, it may have been issued 40 to 50 years ago. Here are tips to help find out if your loved one had an active life insurance policy or annuity contract.
Search personal files and records
Look through safe deposit boxes and filing cabinets. Check bank statements for names of companies where bills were paid. Review tax returns to see if a policy withdrawal or loan was indicated on a return. Watch the mail for premium notices that the company may send because it doesn't know the person has died.
Contact insurance companies or agencies
Your loved one probably had other insurance coverage, such as home and auto, purchased through an insurance agency. Ask the agent if coverage included a life insurance policy.
Check with employers
Some people may have group life insurance, especially if they were still working at the time of their death. If they were retired or left an employer, they may have kept the coverage or purchased additional coverage, and the employer may be able to provide the name of the life insurance company.
Check with groups or associations
Did your loved one belong to a fraternal organization, union or professional association? Members might have life insurance benefits. Current and former military members also may have coverage.
Reach out to the state Department of Insurance
Many states now have a Missing Life Policy Search Service, where an individual may enter information about a deceased loved one, and the state will forward the request to all companies licensed in the state. Companies then reach out to the beneficiary if they find that the named individual had coverage.
Use the NAIC's locator
Try using the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Life Insurance Policy Locator. This is a free service. Similar to the states' policy locator services, you may enter the individual's name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other identifying information. The NAIC sends monthly requests to life insurance companies to search their records for coverage. The beneficiary of the policy will be contacted if a company locates an active policy. Note that for privacy reasons, insurers are able to provide policy information only to the policy owner or the beneficiary named in the policy.
Life insurance companies understand that dealing with the loss of a loved one is a difficult time, and it can be frustrating to locate important financial papers, such as a life insurance policy. Using these tips can help ease that burden.
Neither The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company nor its affiliates or representatives offer tax or legal advice. Consult with your tax adviser or attorney about your specific situation. For policy service and additional information, speak to an independent agent representing The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company. For a complete statement of the coverages and exclusions, please see the policy contract. All applicants are subject to underwriting approval. Products and riders available in most states.