If someone died recently, track unclaimed life insurance money by searching the personal records of the deceased and contacting life insurance companies carrying possible policies, recommends Consumer Reports. If the person died several years previously, contact unclaimed property offices in any states where the deceased may have purchased insurance.
To locate insurance policy correspondence or paperwork, Consumer Reports suggests searching mail, email, bank statements and safety deposit boxes for records of bills, premium payments, invoices, dividend notices and policies. Contact former employers and labor unions. If you find a company name, contact the insurer directly, although insurance companies do not normally divulge policy information to anyone who is not a relative or beneficiary.
The money from many unclaimed life insurance policies remains unaudited, according to the New York Times. Although insurance companies are required to turn unclaimed benefits over to state unclaimed property offices, they are not always aware that the person has died. Notifications in newspapers and on websites may not appear for years.
If you suspect that a relative has left a policy, be prepared to invest time in the search, suggests Bankrate. Have the person's full legal name, social security number and previous addresses on hand. Be wary of scammers who offer to assist in the search for an upfront fee. Legitimate private search companies work for a percentage of the payoff if they find a policy.