If a family member dies and you are unable to locate his or her life insurance policies, there is, unfortunately, no national or statewide database of all life insurance policies that you can consult.
However, you can try to determine:
Here are some strategies that might turn up useful information:
1. Look for insurance-related documents.
Search through files, bank safe deposit boxes, and other storage places to see if there are any insurance-related documents. Also, look through address books to see if the names of any insurance agents or companies are listed. An agent or company who sold the deceased their auto or home insurance may know about the existence of a life insurance policy.
2. Contact current and prior financial advisors.
Contact current or prior attorneys, accountants, investment advisors, bankers, business insurance agents/brokers and others who might have known about the deceased’s life insurance.
3. Review life insurance applications.
The application for each policy is attached to that policy. So if you can find any of the deceased’s life insurance policies, look at the applications for them. The application will have a list of all other life insurance policies owned at the time of the application.
4. Contact previous employers.
Former employers may have a record of a past group policy or policies.
5. Check bank books and canceled checks.
See if any checks have been made out to life insurance companies over the years.