Revised 27 November 2007. Q: How do I find a life insurance policy for someone who has died? I do not know which company issued the policy.
A: Life insurance policies do not constitute public information. While you can call various companies and ask about the existence of a policy, they do not have to provide such information. In fact, with today's privacy concerns, I would guess that without proof of who you are, and what your relationship to the deceased is, you would not make much headway.
However, if the policy pays dividends, the escheated checks would eventually wind up at the state agency responsible for unclaimed property. To find this agency, go to the Web site for the relevant state and search for the key phrase, unclaimed property. Sometimes the agency provides a database that you can search via the Web. If not, pick up the phone and inquire about the procedure for locating unclaimed property. (Special thanks to
Lynn Peterson, who helped me craft this
part of the answer.)
Update: MIB Group, Inc., an
organization of member insurance companies
in the U.S. and Canada, offers a fee-based
service for finding lost policies. The
Policy Locator Service facilitates the
search for lost records. However, you must
qualify as an executor or other approved