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Common Questions

I can't find the life insurance policy of a family member who just passed away

Last reviewed in March 2022 by the Clicklaw Editors.

When you are managing a deceased’s financial matters, you may find everything you need in a filing cabinet or on their computer. This is not always the case, and it can take a lot of time to locate all relevant paperwork.

Where to search for a lost life insurance policy of a deceased

  • To find if a life insurance policy exists for a deceased person, start with possible storage places, like safety deposit boxes or filing cabinets.
  • Go through the deceased’s papers, checking for policies, statements or notices from an insurance company.
  • Review banking records for any evidence of premium payments.
  • Contact the deceased’s insurance agent (if known) and other advisors, like lawyers and accountants. Sometimes, policies are stored in their files.
  • Contact the deceased’s employer, or former employer if the deceased was retired. The Human Resources Department would have information on group life insurance for active or retired employees.
  • If the deceased was receiving group disability benefits, find out if there was any group life insurance included.
  • Contact any associations to which the deceased belonged. Many offer members life insurance. For example, lawyers, accountants, construction workers, teachers, government employees or engineers belong to associations.
  • Check with credit card companies to see if the deceased purchased any life or travel insurance through the card.
  • If the deceased passed away while travelling, check whether special insurance was purchased for the trip. Sometimes, travel insurance provides a death benefit.

What to do if you can’t find the policy

Sometimes there really is no paper trail or email about the deceased’s life insurance policy. If you cannot find the policy, OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) may be able to do the search on your behalf by contacting their member companies to see if they hold the policy.

Need more help?

  • Courthouse Libraries BC provides legal information services via a network of libraries in BC courthouses. Call 1-800-665-2570 or email before visiting our library for help with legal research and access to public computers, print materials, and legal databases.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions:

life insurance, insurance policy of a deceased