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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Life insurance policy information

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: My mother took an Insurance Policy on me when I was little and I wanted to see if the policy was still in use. Please tell me what I need to do. Can I look it up online at your web site or do I need to talk to someone on the phone. I have the policy in hand.

A: It would be best to notify the insurance company directly in writing. Include your current address and request a copy of the current policy statement. Make a copy of the policy declaration page (usually page 1 inside the cover) and include this with your written request. If your mother is listed as the policy owner and beneficiary, the request must come from her since she would be the one entitled to receive this information. If she is no longer living, also send a copy of her death certificate so that the company may be permitted to respond to you (or her executor if that is another person). Once you have that information, it makes sense to consider all of the options available including the possibility of exchanging this for a current policy that better fits your current situation. The cash value of the policy might not be much, but the value of the conversion rights could be substantial. In any case, this information you need is not available online or by telephone. Only the new life insurance policies applied for online make policyholder information available in the same manner. See the life insurance page at for more information.


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