How to find out if someone had a life insurance policy
- A financial or tax advisor. They may know if there are existing policies.
- Bank or credit card records. Financial records may show payments made to an insurance company.
- Income tax returns. Tax records may show interest income from an insurance policy.
- Life insurance policy locator. Many states have a centralized life insurance policy search service. See Learn how to use the NAIC Life Insurance Policy Locator for more information.
How to claim life insurance benefits
To claim life insurance benefits, report the death to the insurance company. The company will then send a form, an online link, or other instructions to file and submit a claim. They’ll usually require a certified copy of the death certificate. If there are multiple beneficiaries, each person will need to submit claims separately.2
The process for an insurance claim varies, and timelines for getting a payout can range from days to weeks after submission.2
Inheriting an annuity
Annuities with a named beneficiary and that can be inherited usually don’t have to go through probate. Contact the company for ownership transfer instructions.