HomeLife InsuranceHow to Find an Old Life Insurance Policy

How to Find an Old Life Insurance Policy

What You Should Know

  • The first step in how to find out if someone has life insurance is to gather relevant information
  • State Insurance Departments can help you locate a life insurance policy if there is one available
  • If a significant amount of time has passed since the deceased’s death, the policy may be listed as unclaimed property

If your loved one didn’t leave a clear record of a life insurance policy, it can be difficult to know how to find an old life insurance policy. We break down the main steps on how to find out if someone has life insurance, so you can easily find out whether the deceased had an active life insurance policy.

Once you find the life insurance policy, it is then a matter of dealing with any life insurance death benefits, which may come in the form of a lump sum or multiple payments.

In order to find a life insurance policy and potential death benefit payouts, read our guide below.

How to Search for Old Life Insurance Policies

There are a few ways to find an old life insurance policy, but one of the best ways is to contact your State Insurance Department and use its life insurance policy locator.

You will need the deceased’s death certificate and social security number. Below, we have listed the contact information for each State Insurance Department.

Insurance Department Contact Information by State

State Insurance Department Phone Number Website
Alabama Alabama Department of Insurance (334) 241-4141 www.aldoi.gov
Alaska Alaska Division of Insurance (907) 269-7900 www.commerce.alaska.gov/ins
Arizona Arizona Department of Insurance (602) 364-3100 insurance.az.gov
Arkansas Arkansas Insurance Department (501) 371-2600 insurance.arkansas.gov
California California Department of Insurance (800) 927-4357 www.insurance.ca.gov
Colorado Colorado Division of Insurance (303) 894-7499 doi.colorado.gov
Connecticut Connecticut Insurance Department (860) 297-3800 portal.ct.gov/cid
Delaware Delaware Insurance Department (302) 674-7300 insurance.delaware.gov
Florida Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (850) 413-3140 www.floir.com
Georgia Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner (404) 656-2070 www.oci.ga.gov
Hawaii Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (808) 586-2790 cca.hawaii.gov/ins
Idaho Idaho Department of Insurance (208) 334-4250 www.doi.idaho.gov
Illinois Illinois Department of Insurance (312) 814-2420 insurance.illinois.gov
Indiana Indiana Department of Insurance (317) 232-2385 www.in.gov/idoi
Iowa Iowa Insurance Division (515) 281-5705 iid.iowa.gov
Kansas Kansas Insurance Department (785) 296-3071 insurance.kansas.gov
Kentucky Kentucky Department of Insurance (502) 564-3630 insurance.ky.gov
Louisiana Louisiana Department of Insurance (225) 342-5900 ldi.la.gov
Maine Maine Bureau of Insurance (207) 624-8475 www.maine.gov/insurance
Maryland Maryland Insurance Administration (410) 468-2000 insurance.maryland.gov
Massachusetts Massachusetts Division of Insurance (617) 521-7794 www.mass.gov/doi
Michigan Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (877) 999-6442 www.michigan.gov/difs
Minnesota Minnesota Department of Commerce (651) 539-1500 mn.gov/commerce
Mississippi Mississippi Insurance Department (601) 359-3569 www.mid.ms.gov
Missouri Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (573) 751-4126 insurance.mo.gov
Montana Montana State Auditor’s Office (406) 444-2040 csimt.gov
Nebraska Nebraska Department of Insurance (402) 471-2201 doi.nebraska.gov
Nevada Nevada Division of Insurance (702) 486-4009 doi.nv.gov
New Hampshire New Hampshire Insurance Department (603) 271-2261 www.nh.gov/insurance
New Jersey New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (609) 292-7272 www.state.nj.us/dobi
New Mexico New Mexico Office of Superintendent of Insurance (505) 827-4601 www.osi.state.nm.us
New York New York State Department of Financial Services (800) 342-3736 www.dfs.ny.gov
North Carolina North Carolina Department of Insurance (855) 408-1212 www.ncdoi.gov
North Dakota North Dakota Insurance Department (701) 328-2440 www.insurance.nd.gov
Ohio Ohio Department of Insurance (614) 644-2658 www.insurance.ohio.gov
Oklahoma Oklahoma Insurance Department (405) 521-2828 www.oid.ok.gov
Oregon Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (888) 877-4894 dfr.oregon.gov
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Insurance Department (877) 881-6388 www.insurance.pa.gov
Rhode Island Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (401) 462-9520 www.dbr.ri.gov
South Carolina South Carolina Department of Insurance (803) 737-6160 www.doi.sc.gov
South Dakota South Dakota Division of Insurance (605) 773-3563 dlr.sd.gov/insurance
Tennessee Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (615) 741-2241 www.tn.gov/commerce/insurance
Texas Texas Department of Insurance (512) 676-6000 www.tdi.texas.gov
Utah Utah Insurance Department (801) 538-3800 insurance.utah.gov
Vermont Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (802) 828-3301 dfr.vermont.gov
Virginia Virginia State Corporation Commission (804) 371-9741 scc.virginia.gov/boi
Washington Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner (800) 562-6900 www.insurance.wa.gov
Washington D.C. Washington D.C. Department of Insurance (202) 727-8000 disb.dc.gov
West Virginia West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner (304) 558-3386 insurance.wv.gov
Wisconsin Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (608) 266-3585 oci.wi.gov
Wyoming Wyoming Department of Insurance (307) 777-7401 doi.wyo.gov

Read more:

You can call your state’s department directly, or you can visit the website for help locating a life insurance policy. Once you find the life insurance policy, you will also be able to discover if you were listed as a life insurance beneficiary on the policy.

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Using a Life Insurance Policy Locator

When you contact your State Insurance Department, it is helpful to have gathered information on the policy if possible. This will help the State Insurance Department locate the deceased’s life insurance policy if one is to be found.

The policy information you should look for is as follows:

Steps to Search for Old Life Insurance Policies

Steps Information to Look for
Search the deceased’s documents Evidence of policy and relevant information
Search through paper and digital files Insurance-related documents
Check bank statements Checks or automatic drafts to life insurance companies
Check mail and email Premium or dividend notices, annual notices
Review tax returns Record of interest income or expenses paid to insurance companies
Check application documents List of other life insurance policies

While it may take a while to dig through paperwork to find the necessary documents, bear in mind that it is much easier and faster for your State Insurance Department to find an insurance policy if you have at least some of the documentation listed above proving that there is an insurance policy in existence.

If you have any confusion about how life insurance policies and payouts work when looking for a policy, read our guide on how does life insurance work for more information.

Contacting the State Insurance Department

You can also contact the State Insurance Department if you need help locating a life insurance policy because some information is missing. While you don’t need to know all the policy information, like if the deceased had a term life or permanent life insurance policy, you should know basic information about the deceased and the insurance company.

Below, we’ve listed some instances where you might have trouble finding lost life insurance because of a lack of basic information, as well as what you should do in each case.

Methods of Locating an Existing Life Insurance Policy

Methods Steps
NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator Service Submit a request with relevant information
State’s Unclaimed Property Office Search the state’s unclaimed property database
Insurance company changed its name or sold Tips on finding insurance companies that underwent changes
Company went bankrupt Contact the state life and health guaranty association
Policy may have been purchased in Canada Reach out to the Canadian Ombudservice for Life and Health Insurance
Fee-based services Services offered by MIB and private companies for a fee

Troubleshooting by following the steps above will help you with your old insurance policy search.

Tips for Finding an Old Life Insurance Policy

If you aren’t sure where to start with your search, take a look at our tips below on how to find out if someone has life insurance.

Steps to Find a Lost Life Insurance Policy

Steps Information to Look for
Go through the deceased’s documents Life insurance policy among paperwork, storage, or safe deposit box
Check digital files Computer, external hard drive, or cloud system
Search bank statements Payments or checks to life insurance companies
Review tax returns Record of interest income or expenses paid to insurance companies
Check email or mail Premium payment reminders, dividend notices, or marketing materials
Use NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator tool Relationship to the deceased and relevant personal details
Contact state’s insurance department Basic information about the deceased and a copy of the death certificate
Check unclaimed property programs State programs for unclaimed life insurance policies
Reach out to the deceased’s employer Benefits or HR department for information on existing policies
Consult financial advisors, accountants, etc. Inquire about a life insurance policy in place
Try the MIB Group Database search for life insurance application information

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to collect the information needed. Although some methods may be more time-consuming, the information gathered will help you determine whether there was an active life insurance policy.

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

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Unique Challenges to Finding Old Life Insurance

Often, the challenges that arise when looking for an old life insurance policy have to do with changed information or a significant lapse of time between the deceased’s death and the search for a life insurance policy.

For example, the company that held the deceased’s life insurance policy may have gone under or changed its name. This can make it harder to track down the company that held the life insurance policy.

If a significant amount of time has passed since the deceased’s death and when you started investigating for a life insurance policy, this can also make it trickier to find the policy.

At this point, it will be considered unclaimed property, so you may have to search through multiple databases to find the life insurance policy.

When Happens When You Can’t Find an Old Life Insurance Policy

If you can’t find an old life insurance plan, ensure it’s not listed as unclaimed property somewhere. Double-check that you have the information correct, as well. (For more information, read our “How to Find an Unclaimed Life Insurance Policy“).

If you still can’t find an old life insurance policy, it is possible that there may not be one available. Perhaps the deceased had a life insurance policy, but they let it lapse before their death, making the life insurance policy invalid.

Bottom Line: Finding Old Life Insurance Policies

When it comes to steps in how to find life insurance policies, don’t be discouraged if you can’t find a life insurance policy right away. It can take a bit of work and research to find an older life insurance policy, especially if it has been labeled as unclaimed property.

However, by collecting information and using government insurance sites and resources, you should be able to discover a policy.We hope that our guide on how to find an old life insurance policy has been helpful.

If you are looking to purchase a life insurance policy yourself, make sure to keep a detailed record of the policy for your beneficiaries and read our guide on types of life insurance to find the best policy for your needs.

We also offer helpful information that answers questions like “do you need a Social Security Number to get life insurance” to help guide you through the application process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out if a loved one had a insurance policy?

You can contact your State Insurance Department for help finding lost insurance policies.

Who can claim old insurance policies?

If you have located the policy using a insurance policy locator, this doesn’t automatically mean you get a insurance payout. You must be a listed beneficiary on a insurance policy to claim an old insurance policy death benefit.

How can I check if I am a beneficiary of a insurance policy?

First, you will need to find out if there is a insurance policy through an old insurance policy search. Then, you can contact the insurance company to see if you are a listed beneficiary.

What information do I need to find a lost insurance policy?

At a bare minimum, you will need the basic information about the deceased, so you can do basic searches like a insurance policy search by social security number or a insurance policy search by name and policy number.

Can a insurance policy be located after the policyholder’s death?

Yes, you can use a insurance policy locator to find a policy after the policyholder’s death.

How long does it take to find a lost insurance policy?

When performing an old insurance policy search, the time it takes depends on what information you have and which tools you use. For example, if you are using a government site to find a policy, it may take up to several months to receive a reply.

What happens if a insurance policy cannot be found?

If a insurance policy can’t be found with a insurance policy locator and no beneficiaries step forward, then after a few years the insurance company will generally turn the money over to the state.

How do I prevent losing track of my insurance policy in the future?

Because insurance is an important asset for your loved ones after you pass, it is important to keep track of it. Make sure to keep policy details and other relevant information in a safe spot that your beneficiaries will easily be able to access. Read our guide on “Is insurance an asset” to learn more.

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

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Rachael Brennan

Licensed Insurance Agent

Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states.
After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in…

Tim Bain

Founder & Life Insurance Agent

Tim Bain is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. 
His insurance expertise has been featured in several publications, including Investopedia and eFinancial. He also does digital marking and analysis for KPS/3, a communications and marking firm located in Nevada.

Founder & Life Insurance Agent

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.



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