How do you find out if someone had a life insurance policy before they died?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a "Life Insurance Company Location System" to help you find state insurance department personnel who might help identify companies that might have written life insurance on the deceased.

Check with the state's unclaimed property office. -If a life insurance company knows that an insured client has died but can't find the beneficiary, the death benefit would have to be escheated to the state of last known address of owner or to the state in which the policy was bought as "unclaimed property."

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (unclaimed.org) - NAUPA is the association of the state unclaimed property programs, but the databases are located and maintained by each state, not NAUPA. However, most states participate in MissingMoney and we suggest that you search there

The Center for Life Insurance Disputes - contact this group and you can do a lost life insurance policy search through their website.

Here's are some tips:

If the house and car were insured, start with the local agents who sold those policies. Insurance companies usually keep track of customer names and Social Security numbers.

If the policy was active, a premium notice eventually will come in the mail. Look for canceled insurance checks.

Private firms specialize in finding lost life insurance for a fee. Search the Internet for "find lost life insurance" "missing life insurance policies" "Life Benefits Search" or "Lost Life Insurance Finder."

It Happens Every Day, Life insurance is often purchased to protect against loss of income, but policyholders commonly fail to inform the beneficiary(s) of the policy's existence. As a result, many policies go unclaimed based on long dormancy periods or lack of awareness. Insurance companies would like to distribute what is rightfully due, but the responsibility to claim benefits lies with the survivors. It is estimated that over $1 billion of insurance proceeds currently could be claimed by beneficiaries from North American insurance companies..

Check the bank account statements for regular with drawls... it may be a few years back for 20 year pay policies. Do follow up from there. Check with family friends, sometime the owner might have discussed it with them.

Call the suspect companies and ask. If you have the persons info and know what company he may have been insured with, you can call the insurance company claims department and ask. They will only tell you if he was insured and nothing more without evidence that you are privy to that info. Also, call his insurance agent and ask.