How To Find Out If a Deceased Person Had Life Insurance – 5 Easy Steps

Life insurance is no doubt one of the best choices one can make, but how to find out if a deceased person had life insurance - this is why we’re here to help you out!

Let’s be honest, life insurance is not a very comfortable topic of discussion. But, it is something that most of us have wondered if an individual has or had life insurance when they passed away.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for loved ones to be unaware that they were left behind with the life insurance of the deceased! Even if they knew this at one point in time, they may have long forgotten about it.

Hence, if life insurance is indeed left behind by the deceased, and is somehow unclaimed, their loved ones will never be able to receive the money. The worst part of it all is that if the life insurance money is unclaimed, it would mean that the money spent on the policy was a total waste.

Then how to find out if a deceased person had life insurance? Which is why we’ll be covering and sharing strategies through which you should be able to find out if the deceased indeed had life insurance.

How To Find Out if Someone Has Insurance

There is more than just one way to find out if an individual had life insurance. It must sound like a lot of work, and there is no denying that fact, BUT these tips and strategies are simple to try and the best part is – it’s free!

In simple words, just because someone never mentioned that they had life insurance, does in no way mean that there isn’t one. After all, there aren’t a lot of insurance companies out there that will take it as their moral obligation to inform you about your loved one’s life insurance.

Which is why you’ll have to do thorough research and follow up on it as time passes. Fortunately, you don’t have to feel clueless as there are ways to learn and pursue if your loved ones had purchased life insurance, and you may even be the benefactor.

Steps To Find A Lost Life Insurance

We’ve simplified this guide for you to begin your research by finding out if somebody left life insurance in your name.

Death Certificate

Before diving right into the hows and whys of how to find out if your loved one left life insurance behind, you NEED to have obtained their death certificate in order to start your investigation and research.

Filing a claim to receive the death benefit amount that comes with the insurance carrier, you’ve to have proof on hand that the policyholder had indeed passed away. There isn’t much science to it as you can easily get it from the local government office or the mortuary that was responsible for managing the funeral.

The deceased death certificate will provide the insurance company with all the information they need to disclose and disburse the insurance benefit amount.

Bank Statements

Moving on, now that you have obtained the death certificate of your loved one, search their place for bank statements. Their bank records will have all the information on regular transactions made to the particular life insurance organization. Go over them thoroughly and take notice of any automated or regular payments made over the years.

Checking through old bank records should give you an overview of their transaction history. You don’t have to worry if you weren’t able to find the specific policy, because the name of the life insurance company is already a huge breakthrough.

Take great notice if any such payments were made, especially if it’s recently deducted from their bank account. If you do indeed see an amount being transacted to the life insurance company, specifically if it was done through a written check, there is a high chance you may have just found an active life insurance policy!

Life Insurance Database

The question here is, are life insurance policies public records? Well, to be honest, there is no particularly central life insurance database that would contain all the life insurance policy documents.

However, there is a database that contains all the applications for individual life insurance purchased and processed. This database was established in 1996. Do stay mindful of the fact that you’ll be charged a few for every search you do.

Also, you’re more than likely to not succeed as soon as possible but do not lose hope as we’re sure there should be some information out there for you. Here are some websites you could try:

Financial Professionals

It’s more important than you think to only involve trusted, close and professional individuals in your search for life insurance left behind by your loved one. Life insurance benefit amount is something that is of utmost sensitivity, hence it’s best to work alongside those who knew and had engaged with your loved one.

If you are aware of any financial advisor, agent, accountant, or a lawyer that the deceased individual was either working with them or had once worked with, contact them. There are high chances they might have some sort of idea if the deceased did indeed have life insurance.

You could also try professional financial companies in order to help you track down if the deceased had life insurance at the time of their death. However, do conduct your due diligence of these companies as there have been numerous scams in such services.

Complimentary Life Insurance

We feel everyone is in one way or another aware of the fact that it is pretty common to receive complimentary life insurance policies when you’re a member of a certain organization or your workplace would’ve mandatorily signed you up for it.

Therefore, keep this option in mind and reach out to any of these places the deceased could be linked to and have had life insurance through them.

How Do I Find Out If I Am A Beneficiary On A Life Insurance Policy?

Technically, if you’re indeed the beneficiary of the deceased life insurance benefit, there are 3 main things you need to have to identify yourself as the beneficiary.

  • Proof of your relationship – in simple terms, who you are
  • Copy of their death certificate
  • Social Security number of the deceased

This ultimately depends on the entire situation and the terms and conditions of the policy. The insurance company might even ask for additional documents to be certain that you’re the beneficiary.

However, if you’re still having a tough time locating the deceased life insurance policy, you shouldn’t give up your search so soon. Keep checking their mail for at least a year, in case they might be receiving any premium notices.

Also, if the deceased had passed away many years ago, try getting in touch with the unclaimed property office of the deceased’s state government office.


There are life insurance payouts worth more than hundred of millions of dollars, that go unclaimed by the deceased beneficiaries every passing year. But, know that if you’ve been made a beneficiary of an individual, they are not under any obligation to inform you.

Moreover, even the insurance company won’t be able to reach out to you unless they’re aware of the individual’s death. The above-mentioned steps should help you big time in finding out if the deceased had life insurance and if you’re the beneficiary.

Apart from all this, it’s best to ask the suspected individual if they’ve made you a beneficiary so that you don’t lose out after their death. We know you can come off as being greedy or even make the other person uncomfortable. Hence, if you don’t want them feeling this way, you should at the very least advise them to place their paperwork somewhere private but accessible.

Life insurance is generally a part of the inheritance of the deceased family. And, where there’s a will, there’s a way. In other words, your way towards attaining the life insurance benefit could be through a relative. So, keep searching for any possible clues as you’ll find an answer one way or another.

We hope this read helped you in knowing what ought to be done when a loved one had passed away and if you’re uncertain if they had life insurance on them.

Charles Bains

Charles Bains

Charles Bains started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes, you read that correctly). Having recently worked for various organizations, coupled with his broader insurance knowledge, Charles is able to understand our client’s needs and guide them accordingly. He is a gem for Insurance Noon as his wide area of expertise and experience have been beneficial in conducting further researches to come up with solutions and writing them in a manner which is easy for everyone including beginners to comprehend.