How to find an old life insurance policy

Unfortunately, there isn't just one place to check and find out if someone who's passed away had a life insurance policy. However, here are some tips to help you get started with your search:

What you’ll need

  • The name of the insured.
  • The policy itself, if you can find it, which will have the insured's name and policy number.
  • A certified copy of the death certificate.

Where to look for a copy of the policy

  • Search through the person’s financial records to find payments to the insurer.
  • Look through old mail for company statements or billing reminders.
  • Check with their auto or home insurer to see if they bought a life insurance policy through them.
  • Contact the person’s last workplace to find out if they had a policy through their employer.
  • Review their income tax statements and look for interest income earned and paid expenses to the insurer.
  • Contact their bank to see if they had a safe deposit box or bought a policy through the bank.

If you find the policy

Contact the insurance company to file a claim. If you need help contacting the insurer or if you have problems with a claim, call our Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-562-6900 or file a complaint.

What to do if you can’t find the policy

  • Gather as much information as possible, such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, insurer and any other relevant documents.
  • Check with the Washington State Dept. of Revenue, as the benefits may have already been turned over to the unclaimed property section (dor.wa.gov). Also check for unclaimed property in other states (www.unclaimed.org) where the person lived.
  • You could opt to pay a search company to run the person’s name against insurance industry databases.
  • Contact the large life insurers directly.

See also

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