Great article by John Powers in The CPA Journal on how to find lost life insurance and annuity policies. If you have a suspicion that someone in your family once owned a policy, this is a great resource for you to find out if your financial gut instinct is true.
Here is an eye opener from John's piece that might inspire you to dig further..."A series of investigations and unclaimed property audits begun in 2009 by a multistate task force tallied $7.5 billion in unclaimed policy benefits at 25 of the nation’s largest life insurance companies, leading to many major settlements with well-known insurers such as John Hancock, Prudential, and TransAmerica. Some of the audited companies had evidence in their files that policyholders had died, but neglected to inform beneficiaries of the existence of the policies or pay the claims, according to Kevin McCarty, the former Florida insurance commissioner." Wow!
That's just looking at a handful of carriers, so the real number that includes all carriers has to be massive.
You need to read this entire article, so make sure the click the direct link I provided in the first sentence. However, the last paragraph of the article provides additional motivation to dig further to see if there's some unknown money waiting to be claimed...."Finding life insurance policies and annuities is not a simple undertaking if the decedent’s records are incomplete or inaccessible. With the right approach and a diligent search, however, executors can fulfill their fiduciary duty to locate every account, ensuring that all proceeds will be properly distributed to a decedent’s beneficiaries and heirs?"
In my opinion, it's worth a couple of weekends to see if you can find anything. What have you got to lose?