how would i find out about unclamied life insurance benefits?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    Unfortunately there is no easy solution to your case. The only central database that would enable you to find out who he or she applied for coverage with goes back only 11 years--MIB (Medical Information Bureau) keeps track of all applications for life insurance policies including name of company and amount applied for. If you believe he or she obtained the insurance less than 11 years ago, then contact them, there is a charge for the service and if they do have an application listed they will only tell you with what company and the amount of coverage so you will then have to contact that company and find out if they actually issued a policy. The website for MIB's policy locator service is


As far as I know if you are the Executor of the Estate you can access bank records to see who he or she paid but only up to 10 years ago--however, I would double check with the bank maybe they will allow you for an additional fee to check back further. The other alternative is that he/she might have had a safety deposit box at the bank that you might not be aware of. If you are the Executor you should be able to 1) find out if he/she had a box and 2) if he/she did the bank will let you open it.


Also check with his/her auto and homeowners agent--he or she might be the same person who wrote the life insurance or might have referred him/her to the person. Also if he or she had an accountant or the family attorney try checking with them since he or she might have given them the information while writing his or her will or checking tax implications of the life policy. Also the attorney might be able to come up with another way to check assets. Did your loved one fill out a Net Worth Statement for anything recently--the information would be listed there.


If there are no other options, you are left with calling companies individually. However, be forewarned the last information I had was that there are over 1800 life insurance companies in the U.S. alone and over a 15 year period many of them might have changed names as a result of mergers, etc. If you have to go this route, first go to the insurance commissioner for your state and have them give you a list of the companies licensed in your state, i.e. not all companies are licensed in every state then with the list start a brainstorming session amongst all of you first to think of the top names of insurance companies on the list--the companies that have the most name recognition and start by calling them, i.e. New York Life, Metropolitan Life, Mutual of Omaha, Sun Life, TransAmerica Life, AIG, Prudential, Northwestern Mutual, Pacific Life, etc. 

In short this is a daunting task, my bet is that your loved ones had a safety deposit box. 

I am very sorry for your loss and wish you all good luck.

    Source(s): Certified Insurance Counselor, Licensed Insurance Agent & Broker 26 years.
  • 1 decade ago

    Well, there's no central database where you can plug in information and look it up, if that's what you're asking.

    Anyone can file a claim, but only the executor of the estate and the named beneficiary can find out who the beneficiary is. The problem is, finding the policy number and insurance company. You really have to do this by either going through the valuable papers of the deceased, or getting copies of their bank records and cancelled checks to find out which insurance company they have been paying.

    If you think there's a RECENT policy, you can also pay a $75 fee, and do a search for APPLICATIONS. This tells you if there have been any applications for the person in the past ten years. First you pay the fee, then they tell you "yes, applications have gone to these insurance companies" or "no applications filed". The application does NOT tell you if a policy was ever issued.

    Source(s): agent, 21+ years
  • 1 decade ago

    Your State's Department of Adandoned Property is a resource that you will want to check with.

  • 1 decade ago

    my mother-in-law has unclaimed insurance but no one knows her ssn so we can't get it. she's been gone over 10 yrs.

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  • 1 decade ago

    you can search your state's website. look under unclaimed property.

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