QUESTION: When my dad died, we thought he had a life insurance policy, but we have no idea how to track it down. Any suggestions?
ANSWER: Lost or forgotten life insurance policies are very common in
Unfortunately, there isn't a national database for tracking down these policies, but there are a number of strategies and a few new resources that can help your search. Here are several to get you started.
<strong>Search his records:</strong> Check your dad's financial records or areas where he kept his important papers for a policy, records of premium payments, or bills from an insurer. Also contact his employer or former employer benefits administrator, insurance agents, financial planner, accountant, attorney or other adviser and ask if they know about a life insurance policy. Also check safe-deposit boxes, monitor the mail for premium invoices or whole-life dividend notices, and review old income-tax returns, looking for interest income from, and interest expenses paid, to life insurance companies.
<strong>Get help:</strong> The
<strong>Contact the insurer:</strong> If you suspect that a particular insurer underwrote the policy, contact that carrier's claim office and ask. The more information you have, such as your dad's date of birth and death,
<strong>Search unclaimed property:</strong> If your dad died more than a few years ago, benefits may have already been turned over to the unclaimed property office of the state where the policy was purchased. Go to MissingMoney.com, a website of the
If your dad's name or a potential benefactor's name produces a hit, you'll need to prove your claim. Required documentation, which can vary by state, is detailed in claim forms, and a death certificate might be necessary.
<strong>Search fee-based services:</strong> Several businesses offer policy locator services for a fee. The