Life insurance policyholders may fail to inform the beneficiary(ies) of a policy's existence. In life insurance, the beneficiary is the person or entity entitled to receive the policy proceeds upon the death of insured. Because some beneficiaries are not aware of their entitlement to the death benefit proceeds, they may fail to claim them. Insurance companies would like to distribute what is rightfully due, but they are bound to identify and pay the proper beneficiaries under the policies that they issue and they may only do so when claims are made.
Today, consumers have several options available to them when searching for life insurance policies for deceased family members, including: searches provided by state treasurer and national unclaimed property searches; insurance company Lost Policy Finders; state insurance department Policy Locators; and private, fee-based services (for instance, MIB's Policy Locator Service ).