Life Insurance Policy Locator Service Provides Valuable Service for Tennessee Insurance Consumers

Thursday, April 13, 2023 | 01:26pm

When a loved one passes away, grieving family members face a multi-faceted hardship. On top of their loss, family members suddenly face a long list of potentially expensive tasks including paying for a funeral and burial, medical bills, and day-to-day expenses.

Life insurance can help lighten your loved ones’ burdens, but life insurance can also pose its own challenges.

To help Tennessee insurance consumers, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (“TDCI”) is joining the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) to promote the Life Insurance Policy Locator service. The locator is a fast, free, and simple way for loved ones to locate life insurance policies and annuity contracts of deceased family members or close relationships. Through the past two years, the service has located thousands of dollars for Tennessee consumers. Through this process, a deceased person’s loved ones could get the valuable life insurance policies that may have been originally purchased to help cover the costs of funerals, medical bills, daily expenses, or college.

We remind consumers to keep copies of their insurance policies and other important papers in a safe, secure location in the event of a loved one's death so that family members might be able to better determine whether there is a life insurance policy in place. If you have a life insurance policy, let your beneficiaries know about it. Good communication can save everyone time and reduce confusion in the long run

In an effort to help consumers who may need assistance locating a loved one’s life insurance policy, TDCI created this brief overview of how the service works in addition to a FAQs section about life insurance.

How Does the Policy Locator Service Work?

-Before using the Lost Locator Policy Service, you will need the deceased person’s death certificate.

-Next, access the Lost Locator Policy Locator on the NAIC’s website and create an account using the NAIC’s secure website.

-After creating an account, submit the request form through the website. The NAIC will then forward the information about your loved one to all major life insurance companies throughout the country.

-Once they have received the request, the companies will search their records to determine if they have any life insurance policies or annuity contracts in the name of the deceased. All locator requests are secure, confidential, and free. -If a company locates a policy, the company will contact the requestor as long as the requestor is the designated beneficiary or is authorized by the policy to receive the information.

-Under Tennessee regulations, the life insurance company has 60 days to pay a death claim. If a claim is not paid within 15 days of the claim, the company must also pay interest.

FAQs About Life Insurance

While discussing life insurance might be difficult, a life insurance policy is an important tool that can help your family’s finances after you or a loved one has died. This FAQ will help you learn more about life insurance including some important terms before you shop for a policy:

Q: How Does Life Insurance Work?

Life insurance helps to cover financial burdens when someone dies. The funds can help cover funeral costs, bills and other significant expenses.

The most common types of life insurance are term life insurance, which provides coverage for a specific period of time, and whole life insurance, which provides coverage for the rest of the insured’s life.

Q: Is life insurance right for me?

A: If you have loved ones who rely on you to provide for them, you should strongly consider look into purchasing life insurance.

Q: Can I return my life insurance policy after I purchase it?

A: Yes. In Tennessee, there is a “free look” period of 10 days after purchase. You can return the policy with a full refund without fees or penalties within those 10 days.

Q: What is a beneficiary?

A: A beneficiary is the person or people you designate to receive the claim amount and other benefits from the life insurance policy when you die.

Q: When should I buy life insurance?

A: An agent can help you determine what is best for you in your circumstances. However, the older you are, the more expensive life insurance will be to purchase.

Q: What happens if I miss a premium payment?

A: In Tennessee, if you miss a premium payment, the insured will remain covered for 30 days even if the missed payment is not made up.

Q: Who can purchase life insurance?

A: Life insurance policies can be taken out by anyone who can prove they have an insurable interest in the person, meaning financial or emotional interest in the insured person’s life.

To better understand life insurance, TDCI created this fast, effective presentation that can be found here.

If you experience a denied claim or other issue with an insurance company, file a complaint at or call 615-741-2218 or 1-800-342-4029.

Jennifer Ramcharan serves as Education and Outreach Specialist for the Insurance Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. She can be reached at