Is There a Database to Check for Life Insurance Policies?

Purchasing life insurance is an important way to protect your loved ones financially in the event of your passing. However, life insurance policies sometimes get lost over time as policyholders change addresses, beneficiaries pass away, and records are misplaced. This can leave valuable policy benefits undiscovered and unclaimed upon the policyholder’s death.

To address this problem, there are now national databases that help consumers locate lost or forgotten life insurance policies. Read on to learn more about these policy locator services and how they can help connect beneficiaries with unclaimed benefits.

Overview of Life Insurance Policy Locator Services

  • The primary database where consumers can search for lost life insurance policies is the NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator. This free tool is maintained by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

  • Some states also offer their own local life insurance policy search services. These are connected to the NAIC national database but may also search state-specific records.

  • These policy locator tools maintain secure, encrypted databases of policyholder information voluntarily provided by participating life insurance companies.

  • When a search request is made, the policy locators cross-reference the information against their database to flag potential matches. If a match is found, the insurance company is notified to further investigate and contact beneficiaries.

Who Maintains the NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization for state insurance regulators. The NAIC coordinates regulatory oversight and provides expertise, data, and analysis to protect consumers and promote healthy insurance markets.

As part of their consumer protection mission, the NAIC developed and maintains the Life Insurance Policy Locator as a free public service. This searchable national database connects consumers with lost or forgotten life insurance benefits.

Over 1000 U.S. life insurance companies voluntarily participate by providing encrypted policyholder data to the NAIC. This allows over 98% of the U.S. life insurance industry to be searched through the NAIC locator.

Who Can Search the Life Insurance Policy Locator?

The NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator is open to the general public. Anyone can submit a search request to check for policies belonging to a deceased person.

Common submitters include:

  • Beneficiaries – Spouses, children, or other loved ones named as beneficiaries in a life insurance policy.

  • Executors – Persons appointed to manage the estate of someone who has died.

  • Legal Representatives – Attorneys, accountants, or trustees authorized to act on behalf of beneficiaries.

  • Any Concerned Party – Friends, caregivers, or anyone else wishing to check if the deceased had a lost life insurance policy.

As long as basic information about the deceased is provided, the policy locator can be searched by any member of the public.

What Information is Needed to Search?

To perform a search in the NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator, the following information is required:

  • Full Legal Name – The first and last name of the deceased as listed on their death certificate.

  • Date of Birth – The birth date of the deceased.

  • Date of Death – The date the deceased passed away.

  • Social Security Number – The SSN of the deceased individual.

  • Last Known Address – The most recent known residential address.

  • Your Contact Info – Your full name, mailing address, email, and relation to the deceased.

Having additional details like the deceased’s middle name, aliases, policy numbers, past addresses or employer names can also aid search success.

How Does the Search Process Work?

Searching the NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator takes just a few simple steps:

  1. Visit and find the Life Insurance Policy Locator under the “Consumer” tab.

  2. Read the welcome page and agree to the terms of use.

  3. Enter the required identifying details about the deceased individual.

  4. Provide your own contact information and relationship to the deceased.

  5. Click submit to complete the request.

Once submitted, your search details will be securely stored in the policy locator database for cross-checking. The NAIC will confirm your request via email.

What Happens After a Request is Submitted?

Within 1-2 business days after submitting a search request, you will receive an automated email confirmation from the NAIC. This means your request was successfully entered into their encrypted system.

The NAIC will not directly inform you of any search results. Instead, if a potential policy match is identified, the NAIC contacts the insurance company who then investigates further and contacts beneficiaries directly if a valid match is confirmed.

There are several possible outcomes after submitting a policy locator search request:

  • You are contacted by an insurer because a policy was matched. Further validation is required to claim benefits.

  • No insurer contacts you because no match was found or you are not the beneficiary. The NAIC will not follow up.

  • The search process takes up to 90 days. Have patience and follow up with any insurers who contact you.

  • Consider searching state unclaimed property databases too for other unclaimed assets.

Claiming Life Insurance Benefits After a Match

If the NAIC policy locator finds a potential match, the relevant life insurance company will conduct their own good faith investigation. This involves further validating that the deceased person they insured is the same individual identified in the search request.

To claim benefits on a matched policy, beneficiaries will need to provide certain documentation to the insurer such as:

  • A certified copy of the death certificate

  • Their own identification proofs

  • Claim forms required by the insurer

  • Policy documents and numbers if available

  • Any other evidence needed to confirm their right to proceeds

This extra validation helps insurers ensure payment is made to the rightful beneficiaries. Be responsive to insurer requests and submit documents promptly to claim lost policy proceeds.

Tips to Aid the Search Process

While the NAIC policy locator offers a free and simple way to search, keep these tips in mind to boost your chances of successfully finding lost policies:

  • Search state unclaimed property databases in addition to the NAIC tool for the most comprehensive check.

  • Provide as many details as possible about the deceased to enhance search accuracy.

  • Check records and documents of the deceased for any clues about life insurance purchases.

  • Contact known insurance agents or financial advisors of the deceased.

  • Reach out to past employers about possible group life insurance coverage.

  • Follow up with every insurer who contacts you to pursue potential matches swiftly.

  • If an insurer confirms a policy match, promptly provide any documents needed to claim proceeds.

Is There a Time Limit to Search for Lost Policies?

There is no time limit for how long after death you can search the NAIC policy locator. However, life insurance companies themselves may impose claim filing time limits that range from 1 to 3 years generally.

To optimize your chances, it is advised to search as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. This increases the likelihood the NAIC locates a match and allows more time to gather documents needed to claim benefits.

Do not wait to search just because years have passed since the death. Valuable benefits could still be uncovered by using the policy locator tool.

Locating Lost Life Insurance Policies is Important

Lost or forgotten life insurance policies are much more common than most people realize. By one estimate, over $1 billion in policy proceeds go unclaimed every year. This represents a tremendous financial loss for unaware beneficiaries.

Fortunately, resources like the NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator provide an invaluable public service to connect beneficiaries with unclaimed benefits. These tools are simple to use, confidential, and give families closure by helping them uncover hidden assets.

If you have ever wondered whether a deceased loved one had any unknown life insurance policies, take advantage of the NAIC locator or your state unclaimed property site. A basic search requires minimal effort but can easily reveal lost benefits that rightfully belong to you and your family.

The Takeaway

  • The NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator allows consumers to search a national database of encrypted policyholder records voluntarily supplied by insurers.

  • Anyone can submit a search request online providing basic details about a deceased individual to check for lost policies.

  • If a match is found, the insurance company conducts further investigation to confirm a valid policy exists before contacting beneficiaries.

  • Additional validation and paperwork is required before beneficiaries can claim proceeds on a lost policy if confirmed.

  • Take advantage of this free tool if you ever have reason to believe a deceased relative may have had an unknown life insurance policy. With minimal effort, you could uncover substantial unclaimed benefits.

How to Track Down Life Insurance Policies and Unclaimed Life Insurance Money


Can I look up someone’s life insurance policy?

Search with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC): NAIC has an online Life Insurance Policy Locator Service that uses the deceased’s name to search the records of participating life insurance companies. This service is free, confidential, and easy to use.

How to check all life insurance policies?

Ans: You can check your life insurance policy details online by logging into the insurer’s customer portal and checking the details online. You can also log into your Policybazaar account and check the status of your life insurance policy under the list of policies purchased.

Is there a website to search for life insurance policies?

To help solve this issue, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) created the Life Insurance Policy Locator, a free online tool that helps consumers find their deceased loved one’s life insurance policies and annuity contracts.

Can you trace a life insurance policy?

The NAIC has a free online search database that you can use to help find an unclaimed life insurance policy. All you have to do is simply go to their website and submit a request. You’ll need the deceased’s death certificate, social security number, full name, date of birth, and date of death.

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