RICHMOND — Searching for a lost life insurance policy can be difficult, especially if an agent or company holding the policy has changed. A good place to start your search is a national life insurance policy locator announced by the State Corporation Commission’s (SCC) Bureau of Insurance and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
The NAIC’s Life Insurance Policy Locator
provides nationwide access to help consumers find life insurance policies and annuities. The new tool builds on life insurance policy locator programs previously developed in a number of states.
Consumer requests are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality. Participating insurers compare submitted requests with available policyholder information and report all matches to state insurance departments through the locator. Companies then contact beneficiaries or their authorized representatives.
“When a friend or loved one dies, many consumers do not know where to begin when searching for a lost life insurance policy or annuity,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham. “The life insurance policy locator streamlines this process for consumers and insurance companies.”
In 2015, life insurers paid more than $74 billion in insurance policy benefits to consumers nationwide. However, an estimated $1 billion in benefits from life insurance policies still remain unclaimed, according to Consumer Reports. State insurance department investigations since 2010 regarding unclaimed life insurance benefits have resulted in the return of more than $6.75 billion in life insurance proceeds to consumers through more than 20 regulatory actions nationwide.
To facilitate your search for a lost policy, the Bureau of Insurance recommends trying to determine which insurance company issued the policy; which agent or broker sold the policy, or whether the policy was purchased through an employer, union or association.
To claim a life insurance benefit, you will need personal details about the insured individual including the individual’s full name (maiden name for a married individual), Social Security number, the state where the policy was purchased and a copy of the death certificate. A copy of the policy can facilitate this process.
To avoid lost policies, the Bureau encourages Virginians to keep beneficiary information up-to-date; alert beneficiaries of the policy and provide them with the name of the insurance agent and the company that issued the policy; place a current copy of the life insurance policy in a safe and accessible place with wills and estate documents; and ask the insurance company for an annual policy statement if one is not provided.
For more information, contact the Consumer Services Section of the Virginia Bureau of Insurance Life and Health Division at 1-800-552-7945. For more information about the Bureau, visit