Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Sep 22, 2021

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The Brief

  • State laws require life insurance companies to have a policy search by SSN
  • Family attorneys may be able to locate a life insurance policy faster
  • Check mail and bank statements to see if any payments have been made to a life insurance company

Is there a way to find out if someone has life insurance? Several states have laws that require insurance companies to carry a life insurance policy search by Social Security Number.

But what if you don’t know which life insurance company a loved one had? Is a life insurance policy part of public records?

Don’t worry – our guide explores 12 ways you can locate a life insurance policy. Also, we’ll answer frequently asked questions about life insurance.

After you learn how to find out if someone has life insurance, enter your ZIP code in the free online quote tool above to compare life insurance quotes from multiple companies near you.

How do I find out if someone has life insurance?

Locating a life insurance policy can be challenging if you don’t have access to the policy information.

Life insurance companies can’t give you details about a policy if you don’t have personal information related to the policyholder in question.

So how do you find out if you’re a beneficiary of a life insurance policy?

Let’s look at 12 ways to find out if someone has life insurance coverage:

#1 – Search for Documents Related to Life Insurance

Start your search by looking at any documents that your loved one, business partner, etc., have put away. Anything with a Social Security Number or account number could be helpful.

If you happen to find a policy number from the life insurance company, add it to the list of information. You may need it to collect death benefits.

#2 – Get in Touch with Previous Employers

It’s common for people to keep life insurance policies, annuities, and retirement with their employers. Some people keep their 401ks with their previous employer, also.

Check with your loved one’s last employer to see if a life insurance policy was issued. They may require some personal information. Be sure to have that on hand if they ask for it.

#3 – Read through Old Life Insurance Applications

Life insurance companies are known to give customers binders or packets of insurance information. Look around areas where your loved one or business partner stashes important paperwork.

#4 – Contact Financial Advisors

Did your business partner have financial advisors? Was your loved one acquainted with wealth management services?

Reach out to financial advisors to see if death benefits, annuities, or other assets are available to you.

#5 – Review Bank Statements

Do you have access to a family member’s bank statements?

If you’re a power of attorney for someone who passed away, you can look through bank statements to see if a life insurance company has charged a monthly premium to your loved one.

Have a banker help you identify what life insurance charges look like if you’re not sure what to do.

#6 – Gather Old and Current Mail

Keep an eye out for the mail. Policy information and other personal information are mailed out to policyholders. Look through any old letters and billing statements.

#7 – Locate Previous Tax Returns

Tax information is a sure way to see a record of employment, retirement, and other personal information. Also, tax returns to locate the employer identification number (EIN) and Social Security Number.

#8 – Contact Your State’s Unclaimed Property Department

Did you know your state keeps a record of unclaimed property and money? One of the unique websites for collecting unclaimed money is called Missing Money.

#9 – Ask for Help from Your State Insurance Department

Take your search a step further and ask your state’s insurance department to help you find a lost life insurance policy.

If you’re having trouble getting information from an insurance company you suspect has your family member’s life insurance policy, they can tell you what you should do next.

#10 – Check International Insurance Offices

Some life insurance companies have an international reach. Therefore, you may have to investigate whether the life insurance company you’re looking for is in the United States.

Check out companies from Canada, England, and other international locations to find your loved one’s life insurance policy.

#11 – Use the Management Information Base (MIB)

MIB can help locate lost life insurance, but it’s behind a fee-based service. The MIB services can send out emails, faxes, and letters on your behalf. Also, MIB uses search tools to locate life insurance companies.

If you don’t want to use MIB, you can use the life insurance policy locator service at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). You’ll need to create a login to use the NAIC service.

#12 – Conduct a Private Search

If you want to search for a life insurance policy privately, you can always look for yourself. For more help, we recommend getting an attorney to represent you.

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Who can request life insurance information?

Only policyholders and beneficiaries can request life insurance information.

Even if you have all the necessary information to access the policy, life insurance companies won’t issue a check unless you’re listed as the beneficiary.

If the policyholder is still living, you’ll have to ask for permission to be added to the list of beneficiaries on their life insurance policy.

What happens if no one claims death benefits from a life insurance claim?

The fact that somebody is to receive payment from a life insurance policy is a given in how the process works. But what if no tone claims death benefits from a life insurance claim?

The life insurance company moves the money to your state’s unclaimed property and money department. The life insurance death benefits will remain there until someone legally claims it.

If you’re not a named beneficiary, you won’t be able to claim the death benefits.

How do I file a life insurance claim?

If you locate a lost life insurance policy, be prepared to present personal information about you (the beneficiary) and the policyholder.

Contact the life insurance company and let them know you need to file a claim. Here’s a list of things you may need when you file a life insurance claim:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Policy Number
  • Social Security Number
  • Death Certificate

It may take at least five business days before you get a response from the life insurance company. Once they reach out to you, they’ll ask you several questions about the policyholder. You may have to resubmit information, such as the death certificate.

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How to Find Out If Someone has Life Insurance

Use all available resources to find a lost life insurance policy. Sometimes a life insurance attorney is your best option, especially if you’re having a hard time with life insurance companies communicating with you.

If you’re not sure how to find out if someone has life insurance, use our free online quote tool to locate the most affordable life insurance rates in your area.