How can I find out if a deceased relative had life insurance?

Look for life insurance-related documents in your family member's financial files, safe deposit box and secure storage containers. A canceled check or automatic payment on bank statement may provide a clue. Be on the alert tor an annual policy statement or earned interest form that might be attached to a tax return.

Determine what company provided your relative's auto or homeowners insurance. Ask the company insurance agent about an existing life insurance policy. Did your family member have a financial advisor, accountant or attorney? These professionals may offer useful insight as well.

Many employers offer group life insurance benefits to workers. Contact a human resource representative where your loved one worked to check this possibility.


Get in touch with the life insurance company after confirming coverage. This can present a challenge if the insurer is no longer active. The Illinois Insurance Hotline or Illinois Department of Insurance can help you determine if the initial company changed names, was acquired by another carrier or was liquidated.

Be aware there are two types of life insurance contracts. Term policies last a specific time and expire without benefits. Permanent policies remain in force as long as premiums are paid.

Verify what kind of life insurance policy your relative had and its status. The beneficiary can begin the claim process if coverage was in force when the individual passed. This usually involves filling out a company-specific claim form and providing a death certificate.