How to find out if someone has life insurance


quick Facts

  • If you are a deceased beneficiary, you will need to know the details attached to your life insurance policy for several reasons, including the collection of a death benefit.
  • You can always call the insurance company if you know which company was used and ask for more information, as long as you are the beneficiary
  • There are digital search tools that can help in the event that the deceased did not leave a physical or digital copy of their life insurance policy

While it may seem strange at first to ask how to research a life insurance policy for someone else, there can be a number of good reasons why you need to know.

For example, if a loved one has passed away and you are the beneficiary, you need this information in order to finalize some end-of-life details. It is often up to the beneficiary to notify the insurance company of the policyholder’s passage. You will also need this information to collect death benefit from a life insurance policy.

No matter the situation, it can be frustrating not to have the relevant information needed to finish end-of-life procedures. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can go about finding out if someone has life insurance.

How to find a life insurance policy

You can learn how to find out if someone has life insurance in several different ways, but there are a few things that are required if you are responsible for handling the deceased’s accounts and other items.

You will typically need the following to file a life insurance claim:

  • document number
  • The names of the beneficiaries
  • Total death benefit
  • Personal information of the deceased document holder

The good news is that there are many resources on how to find lost life insurance policies. Some are free, while others may end up costing you money or time.

Contact the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

NAIC offers a life policy locator that can help you do just that – locate a life insurance policy for a deceased family member or loved one.

According to NAICOnce an application is submitted, participating insurers will be required to search for the policy using the information provided. You can also be contacted if the policy is in place.

Call the life insurance company

Knowing which life insurance company the decedent used almost immediately will help you find a life insurance policy that would otherwise be unknown.

Although this is the best case scenario, you will still need personal information when it comes time to receive a death benefit. Many insurers will only provide policy details to the listed beneficiaries or someone with authorization.

Find a digital or physical copy

If you have access to the deceased’s information, you may be able to find a physical copy of their life insurance policy that may have been hidden. Common places a person keeps these documents would be in a filing cabinet, a fireproof home safe, or even a bank deposit box.

Mail review is another way to find physical evidence of a policy. Although most corporations are now paperless, there is still an opportunity to send a monthly or annual statement to the deceased.

You may also be able to find a digital copy if you have access to their email address, computer, or cloud storage. Taking the digital route may also lead to tax documents, as you may discover payments made from an insurance company towards a life insurance policy.

Check tax returns and documents

If the deceased had A permanent life insurance policy And they borrowed against it at any time you will be able to see any expenses paid for interest.

In general, a permanent life insurance policy is tax-free unless the accumulated funds are withdrawn due to the accumulated cash value and used by the policyholder. Find out if Life insurance is taxable.

Contact other people who may know

This may include employers, financial advisors, or even other family members. The business owner will know if life insurance is issued through their workplace and which insurance company is being used.

On the other hand, a financial advisor or accountant will know if the deceased budgeted for a life insurance policy. Other family members can also point you in the direction of the right company, too.

As mentioned above, you can also contact your bank or credit union to investigate a safety deposit box. However, you can also find out if life insurance is offered through their bank or credit union, as some lenders provide this option.

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How else would you locate a life insurance policy?

There are paid services if you’ve exhausted all your other options:

  • MIB Solution Policy Locator Service. This is a database of application activity that can help you locate a missing policy.
  • Request help through a private company. Private companies will contact life insurance providers on your behalf to help find the lost policy for a fee.

Before using a paid-for service, don’t forget that NAIC has a free life insurance policy locator. This tool is free and easy to use. The only requirement is that you must be the beneficiary or at least authorized to access their insurance information.

Why do you need to know if someone has life insurance?

When you’re grieving, there are often still matters that need to be sorted out. A life insurance policy can help with the financial side of things. For example, with a death benefit, the deceased’s family or beneficiary can cover any outstanding debts, such as a mortgage, pay bills, or cover funeral costs.

A death benefit does not need to be used to pay off any debt, but some people may rely on this money for other reasons. Find out if Beneficiaries are liable for the debts left behind by the deceased.

It is also important to note that someone may not realize that they have been named a beneficiary, and so the benefits of a life insurance policy may not be used if they are never found.

What are the barriers that may prevent you from finding a life insurance policy?

When researching how to find out if a life insurance policy exists, there can be some hurdles that you may have to face. These complications often come from the company’s side.

The life insurance company may go bankrupt, change its name, or sell the deceased’s life insurance policy to another company. In any of these cases, you may want to consider NAIC’s search tool and suggestions on how to proceed.

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What happens if you can’t find a life insurance policy for someone?

After a while, the lost life insurance policies will be classified as unclaimed property. This can take years, which is why it is necessary to continue searching even after a few months. Even if a life insurance policy turns into unclaimed property, you can still search for it.

According to the National Unclaimed Property Administrators Association (NAUPA)You can view all types of unclaimed property and use the Missing Money site to search for investments, inheritances, and more. This site acts as a national database so millions of records are available, which increases the chances of finding the missing policy.

How to find out if someone has life insurance: Conclusion

There are plenty of ways to find out if someone has life insurance, with options also available even after the policy becomes unclaimed property. It should be relatively easy if you know the insurance company used and they are listed as the beneficiary.

However, even if you don’t know which life insurance company is being used, you can use any number of tools at your disposal to locate it. Ask as many questions as possible and try to find both a physical and a digital copy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to know someone’s life insurance policy?

You may be the beneficiary or a family member who relied on a death benefit to pay bills or end-of-life costs for the deceased.

How do I find a life insurance policy?

Talk to as many people as possible, including financial advisors, family members, and employers. Look through both physical paper files as well as emails because some people prefer hard copies of insurance documents. You can also monitor the paper mail that comes in the name of the deceased to check for any billing statements.

What resources are there to help find a life insurance policy?

NAIC provides a free search tool, and so does NAUPA if the policy becomes unclaimed property. There are also services available that require a fee to use, but they search through many different companies for you, which can be very time consuming.

How do I know if I am a beneficiary?

If a loved one has never told you that you are a beneficiary, you will know when the life insurance company will notify you. If you are not notified, you can also look into the matter yourself while looking for a life insurance policy. All you have to do is search for your name in the policy.

Life insurance quotes are always free.

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Editorial Tips: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective third party source for all things life insurance. We update our website regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

Rachel Brennan has been in the insurance industry since 2006 when she started working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she held her property and casualty license in all 50 states. Several years later, she expanded her expertise in the insurance field, earning a license in health insurance and AD&D insurance as well. I worked for a small health in…

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Rachel Brennan
Licensed insurance agent
Rachel Brennan

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia with two years of experience in life, health and property and casualty insurance. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategy writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He’s been in military newsrooms – literally on the front lines of journalism.

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It has been previously reviewed


Benji Carr

Previously Licensed Life Insurance Agent

Benji Carr



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