When a close relative, like a mother or father, dies and their life insurance can not be found, many people are unsure of the next step. Unless you know specific information regarding their policy, like which company carried it and if the policy is still in force, there are a few different possibilities regarding the policy and it’s value.
Sometimes the policy will not carry any value to you. These instances, generally, occur if the policy was not current; if the cash value of the policy was liquidated before death, and if the death benefit was already paid out to its beneficiary.
It can be very difficult to track down an insurance policy without having contact and policy information. In the event of your relative having a paid up policy, you may be entitled to their death benefit. Start by going through financial records looking for leads to the actual company that may have carried the policy. Excellent clues include receipts, cheques, and even bills or company literature. This will not always work but can generate some positive leads.
You may also want to try contacting the major insurance companies to ask them them if a policy was held by a person with the relatives’ name. Letters generally work the best. Always include your relatives’ name and address, as well as contact information for yourself. This tactic can be very effective in acquiring more information or advice on ideas for locating the policy. It can be almost impossible to track down these policies after death without any information.
Occasionally, policies will be claimed by the state, under escheat law, if the beneficiary could not be located to collect the death benefit. In these cases, it is generally possible to secure the money by contacting the state. Contact your state for more information about who to contact. Generally, you must provide the policy holder’s name and address which will allow the state to check records to see if they have received money from their policy.