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10 Best Ways to Find Out if Someone Has a Life Insurance Policy

March 14, 2018
Our goal is to educate and advise on life insurance options, so you can feel confident in making the right choice, whether that’s through Quotacy or somewhere else. To ensure we provide accurate and trustworthy information, our writers follow strict editorial standards.

The death of a loved one is never easy. There is a lot to manage while dealing with grief.

One of the tasks you may find yourself doing is trying to find out if your loved one has a life insurance policy. Life insurance may not be a topic that arises naturally among family members, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discuss it.

Life insurance companies won’t automatically know when an insured person has died. Don’t expect a phone call from an insurer informing you someone had life insurance. Instead, you’ll have to do the research and pursue the benefits on your own.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

Fortunately, there are several ways to learn whether your loved ones purchased additional financial security for their loved ones. From paper trails and phone calls to digital and online searches, try these ideas to find out if your loved one who has recently passed has a term life insurance policy.

1. Gather your loved one’s bank statements. Read through them to see if any regular payments were being made to a life insurance company.

2. Go through the mail. Keep a close eye on the deceased’s mail for many months after their death. There may be policy premium notices, dividend notices, policy service notices or statements.

3. Look through storage areas. Check storage areas for evidence of life insurance, such as the policy itself or payment receipts. Storage areas could be filing cabinets and desk drawers.

Did your loved one had a safe or a safety deposit box? Check those as well. If you do not have access to the safety deposit box, you will need to bring the death certificate along with an executor’s testament to the bank. Spouses typically only need a death certificate and marriage certificate.

4. Read through address books. Address books, whether they are paper or stored on a cell phone, may contain clues about their term life insurance policy, such as the phone number to a life insurance company or agent.

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5. Contact your loved ones financial professionals. If your loved one had an attorney, accountant, an investment or financial advisor, call them and ask if they know of any life insurance policies.

6. Check with your loved one’s employer. Contact your loved one’s employer for any group life coverage or other life insurance policies purchased through work.

7. Review tax returns. Go through your loved one’s income tax returns from previous years to see if there are claims for interest earned on any life insurance policies.

8. Contact your state’s insurance department. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website can help you find your state’s insurance office contact information. It’s a good place to start if you haven’t had luck elsewhere. Some states have online locator tools to search for missing life insurance policies as well.

9. Use online resources to help your search. Websites such as the NAICmissingmoney.com and unclaimed.org allow users to search for unclaimed assets. The death benefit from a life insurance policy is considered an asset.

10. Pay a company to search for you. In addition to looking on your own, there are several companies out there who will search for a lost term life insurance policy on your behalf. A few popular companies are MIB and Policy Inspector.

They will typically contact hundreds of life insurance companies to find out if your loved one had a policy. Each company has different limitations and rates, so choose wisely. Be aware that there are scammers out there who will say they want to help you find unclaimed money for an up-front payment and then are never heard from again. Do your research before hiring a company.

» Calculate: Life insurance needs calculator

Finally, if you have life insurance on yourself, tell your loved ones about the policy. Don’t force them to go through all these steps in an effort to track it down after you’re gone.

Life insurance protection for your loved ones is one of the most thoughtful financial products you can purchase, but what good is it if your beneficiaries don’t even know it exists?

Life insurance is more affordable than you think and can be a significant help for your family. Get term life insurance quotes to find the cost and coverage you may need, then have a conversation about it with your loved ones.

» Learn more: Talking to Your Family About Your Life Insurance

Watch the How to Find a Life Insurance Policy Video

57 Comments

  1. Lee Knibbs

    I have no life insurance how do I make sure that no one else has takien out a policy for my life cause I don’t have one

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Lee, in order for someone to buy life insurance on someone else, they would need a lot of private information such as your Social Security number and knowledge of your medical history. You would also have to sign paperwork, conduct a phone interview with the insurance company, and, often, participate in a life insurance medical exam. It’s very unlikely someone took out life insurance on you without your knowledge. However, to assuage your feelings of worry, you can request your Medical Information Bureau file which would let you know if your name has come up in any life insurance underwriter’s reports within the last 7 years.

      Reply
      • Darrell

        My mom had a life insurance policy on me. She passed away in 2018. Will states everything goes to my dad. He was not able to get policy changed to his name. He stopped paying for it. He passed away 2021. I didn’t know about the policy. After I found out about it I tried to change ownership of the policy to my name. Over a year I have been trying. I keep getting the runaround like my father got. It’s a whole life and losing value every day.

        Reply
  2. Mags Wilson

    Hi my ex husband and myself took out life insurance policies when buying a house together around 30 years ago I can’t remember which company it was with is there anyway I can find out and give them my up to date information so I am still covered, thank you

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Mags, does your ex-husband not remember either? I recommend searching through your online bank statements to see if there is an insurance company that regularly pulls money for premium payments. If this isn’t an option for you, you can file a report through the MIB’s Policy Locator Service.

      Reply
    • Kimberly Guinn

      Hi my name is Kimberly Guinn an i was told that my family took life insurance out on me an its true because I’ve been finding brochures all over my house..how do i know for sure i wrote some stuff down from your video please help i think someone in my family forged my name

      Reply
  3. Daryl sickafoose

    Husband passed away I’m looking for any life insurance

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. Look through paperwork and mail for any sign of life insurance documents. If you see papers with the name of an insurance company, call them and they can assist you. If you have no paperwork to look through, try the websites the NAIC.com, missingmoney.com and unclaimed.org and search both your name and your husband’s.

      Reply
    • Valentino Henry

      I’m looking for any policies that my mom might have open she passed away the 30 th of December 2020 and I found papers saying she received money from her father but she didn’t mention anything things are really weird please can you help me find out

      Reply
      • Natasha Cornelius

        Valentino, I’m sorry to hear your recently lost your mom. Websites such as the NAIC, missingmoney.com and unclaimed.org can help you determine if there was a policy. Search both your name and your mom’s.

        Reply
  4. Sergio Geribon

    Natasha good afternoon My father died in April 2017 an uncle tells me that there is a policy in my name that my father left but I have no company information .. How can I do to start the process

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Sergio, try the websites the NAIC.com, missingmoney.com and unclaimed.org and search both your name and your father’s.

      Reply
  5. Mannat Sharma

    I”m 29 and i want to buy life insurance. which type of life insurance i should buy.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Mannat, the type of life insurance you buy is dependent on your individual needs. For most people, a level term life insurance policy is the best choice. Our Term vs Whole Life Insurance page may be helpful to you when making a decision. You can also contact Quotacy directly to speak with an advisor if you’d prefer.

      Reply
  6. Teta

    Hi Natasha! When I was 18, I sign a life insurance. As naive as I was I signed my life away without asking any questions. I was not told anything about it. All I was told was it is good for you. Now I have a strong feeling that my aunt is after my life for life insurance money. I told her constantly to take me off, but she ignores me when I confront her about it. I don’t know the company she put me on because if I did I would have removed myself with no hesitation. How can I find out what company she has me on to take me from it because she does not want to tell me about it.

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Teta,

      I’m sorry about the stresses you’re going through. If you do believe your aunt may attempt to harm you, please contact your local authorities. Otherwise, I recommend you contact your state’s insurance commissioner and ask for assistance. You can find their contact information here: National Association of Insurance Commissioners state map.

      Reply
    • Melissa Jean Smith

      Hello, Due to some unusual circumstances. I had came to assumption that my husband has possibly gotten life insurance under my name. I believe he may have it in a nother state. The police aren’t taking me serious. I did Mib report nothing there but what else can I do so I can prove myself right or hopefully wrong. Thanks

      Reply
      • Natasha Cornelius

        Melissa, your husband needs your consent to buy life insurance on you. Your consent is in the form of signatures and a phone interview. You’d likely need to go through a medical exam as well. If the MIB didn’t have anything in their report, you can likely rest easy. Read more here: Can Someone Buy Life Insurance on Me Without My Consent? That blog also discusses more actions you can take if you wish.

        Reply
  7. Dorriann

    I’m concerned that my son who lives in Colorado and just got married his wife works at a Inc company doing life insurance policies took a large policy out on my son how do I go about finding out

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Dorriann, your son would need to give consent to the life insurance policy. For a large life insurance policy, he likely would also need to get a medical exam done.

      Reply
  8. Carol

    My grand daughters father was murdered. My granddaughter is 2 years old. Her father had 90,000 in life insurance. I know he had his mother on the life insurance. After his daughter was born he said he made his daughter the beneficiary. Life insurance was thru his employer. They won’t discuss who is the beneficiary is. Said paperwork mailed to next of kin. It is possible they both can be on it. His mother will never disclose if our granddaughter is listed and will spend the money on her self. The employer won’t discuss it because she is 2 years old. How can I find out. I need to protect my granddaughter

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Carol, I’m sorry to hear your granddaughter lost her father. For the benefit of your granddaughter, it would be best if you reached out to her other grandmother in an attempt to sort this out. Losing a parent is hard and she’ll need her grandparents. Other than this route, there really isn’t a direct way for you to find out more about the life insurance policy.

      Also, know that life insurance companies won’t pay death benefit money directly to a minor child. If the father created a trust for his daughter and named the trust the life insurance beneficiary or if he utilized a custodial account (a.k.a. an UTMA account), then the named trustee will manage the life insurance money. If his mother is not the trustee, she won’t have access to it.

      However, if the father did name his two-year-old daughter the direct beneficiary of his policy, the court system will get involved. They will appoint a guardian to handle the money until your granddaughter is a legal adult. This process is costly and can take a long time. You can file a petition for guardianship appointment on your granddaughter’s behalf. Consult an attorney if you think you’ll need legal assistance.

      Reply
      • Donna Gallagher

        Hi I was divorced in 2010 my ex-husband who killed himself couple months later I was entitled to alimony and had a life insurance policy to cover it if anything happened told me that he didn’t pay it so there was no life insurance policy they won’t talk to me how do I know if it was really closed or there was no policy and know somebody else got the money it’s a way for me to find out it was in my divorce agreement but I don’t know who the company was

        Reply
        • Natasha Cornelius

          Donna, I’d recommend starting with the Policy Locator tool at the NAIC website here: https://eapps.naic.org/life-policy-locator/. If nothing comes up, there are also policy locator services you can hire such as the MIB here: https://www.mib.com/pls.html. You may also want to reach out to the divorce lawyer you used for assistance.

          Reply
  9. Genevieve

    My Dad just passed I’m 100% sure in my gut that he was murdered by his ex it’s a long story…they were married but divorced in 07 she lied and said she was his wife to many lies to count we requested an Autopsy but we need to find the life insurance policy she took out on him while they were divorced I know it exists I just don’t know where to start I read your article maybe you can help?!

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Genevieve,

      I’m sorry to hear about your dad’s death. If his ex-wife owns a life insurance policy on him, she does have the right to do what she wants with it even if they were divorced; however, you need to contact your local authorities to bring them your concerns about his death. In the event of homicide, the death would be investigated and the life insurance company will not pay benefits to a murderer, even if this person was the policy’s beneficiary.

      Reply
  10. laura querry

    Hi my grandparents took out insurance policies on me and 2 brothers when we were kids my grandfather just cashed mine in and gave the money to my uncle I was curious as to whether he can do that legally or if he needed my signature seeing as I am an adult now ?

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Laura, your grandparents were the owners of the policy which means they have control over it. Since your grandparents took out this policy on you and your siblings as children, it was a whole life policy. Policyowners can surrender whole life policies and receive a check for the amount of cash value that had accumulated within the policy. The policyowners do not need the permission of the insureds (you and your siblings) to do this. Your grandfather did nothing illegal. I hope this puts you at ease.

      Reply
  11. Theresa

    My dad passed away Louis colaiacovo July 3rd trying to find out if he had a life insurance policy he was 93 years old from New York

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Theresa,

      I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. I would first advise you to go through all of his mail and paperwork for signs that he had a policy. These could be policy premium notices, customer service letters from the insurance carrier, and even check bank statements to see if there were any regular payments to an insurance company.

      If no luck there, there are policy locator services you can hire. A couple popular companies are MIB and Policy Inspector.

      Your state insurance commissioner’s office may be able to assist you as well. You can find their contact information here: the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

      Reply
  12. Chaneen Johnson

    My Father passed away in August2017. I am his only daughter and I inherited his estate. The family was malicious and removed or cleared anything I would need to handle his business. They have stated my Father had No Life Insurance.. I dont believe that.. How can I find out if he had any insurances. All paperwork removedç phone contacts erased and I haven’t received any mail concerning this matter. Help..

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Chaneen,

      I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Have you tried any of the tips in the article above? I’d recommend starting with the Policy Locator tool at the NAIC website here: https://eapps.naic.org/life-policy-locator/. If nothing comes up, there are also policy locator services you can hire such as the MIB here: https://www.mib.com/pls.html.

      Reply
      • Antwon Bush

        I think it’s a fake life insurance policy in my Name. What do I do?

        Reply
        • Natasha Cornelius

          Antwon, call the insurance company the policy is through and tell them the situation. They can assist you on steps you can take.

          Reply
  13. Aj yatar

    My father just passed away on Jan 16 2018, before his passing he put his cousin as the beneficiary on his life insurance so that when his time comes my uncle is to claim it an distributed between me and my two siblings. Here’s the thing when he went to claim it the beneficiary name has changed somebody took his name out and now where trying to find who that person is who might of claimed it my question is with me and my two siblings being the inheritance on our dads life insurance,whoever took out my uncles name as the beneficiary can that person also changed me and my siblings name and remove us from it

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Aj,

      I’m sorry to hear about the recent loss of your father.

      Only the policyowner can make changes on the policy, including beneficiary changes. No one else, not even a beneficiary, can change anything about the policy. If your father was the owner of his policy, only he could have made changes.

      My suggestion is to call the insurance company’s claims service department and ask for any information they can give you. Explain the situation to them. They may have some answers for you.

      Reply
  14. Camile mcfarland

    Hello my sister was murdered in Mississippi and her things have been gone though we can find her policy and they want to creammate her tomorrow we need to found her policy asap

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Camile,

      I’m very sorry to hear about the tragic loss your sister.

      The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a Policy Locator Service that can assist you in locating your sister’s policy here: https://eapps.naic.org/life-policy-locator/

      Reply
  15. Monica

    My Aunt and her husband have a life insurance policy on my grandmother. They were sneaky about it and she didn’t find out until later. She doesn’t want them to have it and she doesn’t know the name of the insurance company. It’s for $25,000. She has asked for my help, but I don’t know what to do. How can find out which company it is?

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Monica,

      Sometimes individuals are able to utilize the Medical Information Bureau to find this type of information, but most reported policies are of amounts of $100,000 or more. Because the policy on your grandmother is under this amount ($25,000) it’s unlikely that you can find out from this source which life insurance company holds the policy.

      Your grandmother must be the parent of your aunt or her husband, I assume? It’s not illegal for a child to purchase life insurance on their parent. The only thing I can advise is for you (or your grandmother) to talk with your aunt and uncle about the policy. If your grandmother is afraid harm will come to her because of this life insurance policy, then I suggest you speak with the authorities. I’m sorry I don’t have a more definite plan of action for you.

      Reply
  16. Isabelle

    How do i look up if someone who is not deceased have insurance policies with each company

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Isabelle,

      Life insurance policies are not public record. You would not be able to look up who has a life insurance policy and who doesn’t. If you are wondering if a family member has a life insurance policy, I recommend you have a conversation with this person. Thank you for your question.

      Reply
      • Thomas

        My mother just passed & nobody knows if she had a life insurance policy, I with her husband who suffers from Alzheimer’s & he can’t help I don’t know what to do

        Reply
        • Natasha Cornelius

          Hi Thomas,

          I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. I would first advise you to go through all her mail and paperwork for signs that she had a policy. These could be policy premium notices, customer service letters from the insurance carrier, and even check bank statements to see if there were any regular payments to an insurance company.

          If no luck there, there are policy locator services you can hire. A couple popular companies are MIB and Policy Inspector.

          Your state insurance commissioner’s office may be able to assist you as well. You can find their contact information here: the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

          Reply
  17. Terri

    I am 60 and want to leave something behind for my children when I pass. What type of life insurance is best suited for someone my age?

    Reply
    • Jeremy Hallett

      Terri,

      Since you want to leave something behind for your family when you pass, then you are looking for a permanent life insurance policy. There are a lot of options to choose from and the deciding factors are: How healthy are you? How much would you like to leave? How much premium are you comfortable paying?

      There are simplified guarantee issue policies that are advertised on tv. These are the most expensive policies, but also the easiest to get. Typical face amount is going to be between $5k and $25k. These are thought of as funeral policies and ensure that your family has dollars to help bury you at time of death. If you are facing serious health challenges, these are the only policies available.

      If you are healthy (or mostly healthy), then a fully underwritten policy is a much better value for you. Both whole life insurance and guaranteed universal life have guarantees in place to make sure the insurance company will pay out a death benefit as long as you have been paying your premiums. We see policies like this have face amounts between $100k and tens of millions (these are the life insurance policies wealthy individuals buy.)

      Reply
  18. Stephanie Coc

    How do I fimd out if theres a lufe insurance policy on mr

    Reply
  19. Robert McKim sr.

    How do I find out if I have a up to date life insurance policy?

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Robert,

      I recommend calling the insurance company’s customer service line. They will be able to look up your policy and let you know if it’s still inforce.

      Reply
  20. Michael

    Me and my wife’s are trying to find out if she’s had life insurance but her family refuses to say anything because they don’t like her with me because she refuses to do what they say. How do we find out if she has life insurance?

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Michael,

      If you have an idea of which life insurance company your wife may be insured through, she can call them, explain the situation, and they can help her from there.
      It’s a little more complicated if you do not know which company may be insuring your wife. There are online services your wife can hire that will send out emails and letters to all the life insurance companies on her behalf to see if there is a policy in her name. This can be costly, however. There is a popular Policy Locator Service called MIB you can choose to work with. FYI – It costs $75 and smaller policies ($100K or less) would not be found.

      Reply
  21. Holly

    how do i know if someone had a life insurance policy or if it has been used by another relative

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Holly,

      I would suggest you check out the Life Insurance Policy Locator Service on the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s website. It’s easy to use and can help answer your questions.

      Reply
  22. Mary Schmidt

    I have a brother who thinks someone bought a life insurance policy on him. How can I find out for free.

    Reply
    • Natasha Cornelius

      Hi Mary,

      There are many steps required when buying life insurance to help prevent fraud. In order to buy a life insurance policy on someone, insurance companies require consent (signatures). Your brother would have likely had to submit to a medical exam as well.

      If your brother thinks fraud was committed, then he can take action. If your brother knows which insurance company sold the policy, he can call and explain to the carrier that he did not consent and they will work with him to have the policy rescinded. This is the main way he can take action for free.

      It’s more complicated if he doesn’t know the insurance company. There are online services your brother can hire that will send out emails and letters to all the life insurance companies on his behalf to see if there is a policy in his name. This can be costly, however. There is a popular Policy Locator Service called MIB you can choose to work with. FYI – It costs $75 and smaller policies ($100K or less) would not be found.

      Reply
    • Stephanie R Bracey

      My aunt took out an insurance policy years ago on me and my mother. We just found out. Now she is trying to make us sign some papers, but we won’t sign.

      Reply

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