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When a beneficiary fails to inform the insurance company that a policyholder has died, a life insurance policy can remain unclaimed indefinitely. Many such policies go unclaimed each year. Some beneficiaries are unaware that a life insurance policy existed, while others may not know which insurance company holds the policy. The life insurance company may not know how to contact a beneficiary, or the original insurance company may no longer be in business. Whatever the reason for an unclaimed life insurance policy, finding it will require an investigation of the policyholder's records.
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Locate the Life Insurance Company
**Determine who the policyholder banked with and review old bank statements** for annual, semi-annual or monthly life insurance premium payments. If the insured paid his life insurance premiums by check or automatic withdrawal, the records will show the name of the insurance company that collected the payment.
**Review credit card statements for insurance premium payments.** If premiums were paid by credit card, you might need a year's worth of statements to find the insurance company depending on when the policyholder's premiums were due. Some individuals pay their premiums monthly,
**Reach out to the deceased's investment manager.** Some people use a financial planner who manages their financial affairs, including insurance policies. This individual or investment firm would have access to the insurance policies and can inform you how to file a life insurance claim.
Many of these methods require access to the deceased's personal financial statements. Financial institutions cannot provide this information without a copy of a death certificate, as well as information showing that you have the authority to access the records such as a power of attorney or a will. If the deceased designated an individual to take possession or have access to personal records, the financial institution can only release information to that person.
Search Local and National Unclaimed Property Databases
Initiate an online search through the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators website. This website compiles various state unclaimed property programs and allows users to search for life insurance policies or other undesignated property. Begin your search in the state where the insured died and widen the search to all the places you believe he lived. This will give you the best chance at finding an unclaimed policy.