FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

People often worry that there is a life insurance policy taken out on them without their consent.  This is concerning to people because they think a policy may be taken out with nefarious intent such as murder in order to collect an insurance payout.  It is not surprising that with big money involved in life insurance policies, there has been plenty of fraud over the years.  Life insurance companies have also gotten very good at detecting fraud, and it is very difficult for a fraudster to find success against a life insurance company.   If you are still worried that someone may take out a life insurance policy on your life without your permission, here is how you can find out.

To Take out a Policy, You Need to Sign a Consent Form

You need to sign an application of consent in order to have a life insurance policy taken out on you.  If you did not sign an application, there is no way somebody has legally taken out a life insurance policy on you, unless it is fraudulent.  As they process the application, life insurance companies have underwriting departments that perform additional identity checks.  On the application for the insured, a home address and phone number must be listed.  The underwriting department will usually call the phone number to make sure that it is accurate, and cross-reference the address with public databases.  An address that does not match public records will draw red flags.  A mailer will usually go out indicating a policy was issued in your name to the address listed.  Between a phone call and correspondence in the mail, an insured person usually will get plenty of notice that a policy is being taken out on them.  This, of course, is not foolproof.

Medical Exams are Often Needed Too

Instances of fraudulent life insurance policies are extremely rare because most life insurance policies also require medical examinations before issuing a policy.  Usually, a medical exam is triggered by the policy being a certain minimum size, so smaller policies such as those under $250,000 may not require an exam.  Even underwriting for a smaller policy will probably require medical records to be released to the underwriter.  This requires a signature on a form, and your doctor may also alert you to the fact that there is a request pending to get a copy of your records.

Insurable Interest Must Exist

In addition, insurance companies also like to make sure that the person buying the life insurance policy has an insurable interest in the insured person.  An insurable interest means that someone has a financial interest in the life of another person.  Examples of “insurable interest” are a wife who relies on her husband’s income or an employer who relies on work from his/her employee.  The majority of life insurance policies are taken out by family members.  Someone is always assumed to have an insurable interest in their own life.  So, unless there is an insurable interest, a life insurance company will not issue a policy.   This prevents a random person from attempting to take a life insurance policy out on your life.

How to Track Down an Existing Policy on Your Life Using MIB

With that being said, if you still believe there is a chance that somebody has a life insurance policy on you, you can run a search with the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) for $75.

Other Ways to Learn About Existing Policies

How Can You Tell If Somebody Took Out A Life Insurance Policy On You

If you don’t remember if a life insurance policy was taken out in your name, there are some other ways that you may be able to find out! Here are some good ones:

  • Look through financial records.  Life insurance companies issue a lot of paperwork.  Odds are if you keep old paperwork filed away, some information about a life insurance policy will be in there.
  • Ask your family members. Family members may remember a policy or enough details about a policy to help you track it down.  Even if they only know which life insurance company issued the policy, you can call the customer service department and get more information about a policy on your life.
  • Call the State Commissioner’s Office for your State. They may refer you to the MIB or they may help you track down the policy, usually free of charge.  Be warned though, like most government agencies they have limited resources and will move on their own schedule.  This will probably be a slow way to get information about your policy.
  • Ask a Family Member’s Financial Advisor. If someone in your family worked closely with a particular financial advisor or accountant, they may remember information about a policy on your life or the life of a loved one.  Even if they do not, they may be able to assist in locating a policy.
  • Use Policy Inspector. Policy inspector is a service that will attempt to search for existing policies.  This does have a cost associated with it, but it may be worth it to find out if there really is a policy insuring your life.

What to do if you Find Out a Policy Exists on your Life, and you Don’t Want it to

Affect learning that a life insurance policy exists on your life, you may decide that you don’t want someone to have a financial interest in your death.  This is a natural reaction for many people.  Unfortunately, if the policy was issued legally your options may be limited.

If a policy was issued in a legal way, and you consented to the policy at the time of the application, you can not revoke the policy as the insured person.  Only the owner has the right to cancel or surrender a life insurance policy.  Neither the insured nor the beneficiaries have many rights regarding policy changes.

If you believe that the policy may have been issued fraudulently or without your permission, you can get a policy on your life canceled.  You should contact the authorities if this is the case.  Contact your State Insurance Bureau or State Insurance Commissioner’s Office.  They will open an investigation and possibly pursue legal action.  If you also contact the life insurance company that issued the policy, and they may investigate their records and policy cancel the policy immediately.  If you have reason to believe that your life is in jeopardy because of the life insurance on your life, contact police authorities immediately.

What if you Took out a Life Insurance Policy on Someone Else and they Don’t Want It?

If you own a policy on someone else’s life, you can make the choice to surrender the policy or not.  Even if the insured person no longer wants you to own the policy, they can not force you to cancel, surrender, sell, or otherwise dispense of your ownership unless the court orders the policy changed through bankruptcy or divorce proceedings.  If you own a policy on someone else illegally, surrender the policy immediately.

32 Comments

  1. I believe that there is a fraudulent life insurance policy on me.

    1. If you believe this to be the case you should report it to your State insurance agency. You can also notify the company that issued the policy if you know which company it was.

      1. Steven William Delaney Jr

        Checking to see if someone has life insurance on me. I have never filed. If that helps

      2. Is there a national database? Because I know someone who easily got a fraudulent insurance policy and easily collected on it.

        And a $75.00 fee to see if someone is going to possibly make an attempt on your life for profit, is a little steep. Life insurance policies should be open records, in my opinion.

        1. Hi Pamela,
          I understand your concerns, which are shared by life insurance companies. Every year, life insurance fraud is committed. But that’s also why the penalties are very severe, just like with any crime. All crime is illegal, but unfortunately it still happens. The reason that life insurance companies aren’t open is because it is private and personal, whether somebody chose to buy a policy and who their beneficiaries are, but I understand your concerns.

    2. How can you tell if someone took out a fraudulent life insurance policy on me without knowing how do I find that out. Thanks

      1. Hi Corey,
        It is unlikely that somebody took out a fraudulent life insurance policy on you, since you have to sign the application and most of the time conduct a medical exam. But if you still suspect this, then you could talk to your state’s department of insurance as well as click the link in this article which can find out if there’s a policy on you.

      2. I believe that someone did take out a life insurance policy on my brother

  2. Never filed for life insurance. Want to see if someone else has

    1. Hi Steve,
      If you’re trying to find out if somebody else bought a policy on you, without your consent, then you could talk to your state’s department of insurance. You can also try clicking the link found in the article, which can run a check on a life insurance policy for a $75 fee.

  3. I am legally blind and I thought these two people were my friends. But I discovered they were poisoning me. I can’t prove it but I believe some type of way they have insurance on me. I’m out of the situation but I still believe they have a policy on me. I need to know so I can terminate the policy.

    1. Hi Jarmera,
      Your best bet is to call your state’s department of insurance and see if they can help you. If you need assistance, then you could either find a trusted friend or family member, or you could find an attorney who can help you. As the article said, it is difficult to take out a life insurance policy on somebody else but it’s possible they had you sign the paperwork.

  4. Lorraine E. POWELL

    I think my husband has an insurance policy on me,I have no access to bank statements home owners insurance papers, etc

    1. Lorraine E. POWELL

      I need to find out if my husband of 25 years has a life insurance policy on me.

      1. Hi Lorraine,
        Did your husband pass away? If you are unable to ask him, you could also try looking at his paperwork if he passed away. If you’re unable to do any of that, then you could click the link above in this article which shows he somebody took out a life insurance policy on you, but it costs $75.

  5. Think spouse has life insurance on me. Think he forged my name. No access to any records. How can I check to see if policies do exist?

    1. Hi MB,
      You can speak with your state’s department of insurance where you can file a concern on possible fraudulent life insurance activity. You can also click the link in the article which will run a check to see if there is a life policy out there, but it costs $75.

  6. Lorraine maestas

    When I became disabled my evil mother and two sisters tricked me to give verbal consent tock out three policies on me and have mistreadig me since to the point that I have severed my relationship with them I’m afraid of them how can I stop this abuse

    1. You should contact the authorities! And the insurance bureau in your state if the policy was taken out fraudulently.

  7. Strongly suspect a LI policy taken out on me (without my knowledge) by ex-wife, who I caught perpetrating several other identify theft schemes. It is potentially tragic that no national database exists for a living person to learn whether there is a policy on him/her. My state bureau said it can’t help unless I furnish actual proof of the fraud. WHAT?!?

    Contact NAIC and your state lawmakers to help right this glaring omission in consumer/citizen protection. Criminals in this realm, usually someone you know, are more common than the ‘articles’ on insurance sights would have you believe

  8. I believe my ex has a life insurance policy on me, need to find out. Please tell me how to go about it. Thank you Holly Chappell

    1. He may, and assuming it was taken out legally, he has a right to continue to own it. You can call the life insurance company, as the insured person you have a right to know.

  9. How do I find out if the adopted parents of my disabled daughter have life insurance on her? Thank you so much MM

    1. The truth is if they are the parents and legal guardians, you probably can not find out this information. Don’t assume that just because someone has life insurance on the life of another, that they are rooting for the death of that person. Life insurance provides important financial protection.

  10. I believe someone is using my identity for life insurance policy because my wallet was stolen and I overheard a conversation about some policies but can’t find out which one or ones. I have never filed one for myself or anyone else.. never

    1. Hi Derrick,
      If you’re trying to find out if somebody else bought a policy on you, without your consent, then you could talk to your state’s department of insurance. You can also file a notice with the credit bureaus that somebody stole your identity, which places a notices on your credit report, which would show up on a life insurance application. You can also click the link in the article, which runs a check on a life insurance policy for a $75 fee.

  11. I believe somebody fraudulent use my name take out an insurance policy on me without my consent and I believe that trying to lie speed up my death so they can get the money what can I do

    1. Contact the life insurance company and notify them of the fraud, or contact your state insurance bureau and notify them!

  12. I believe someone fraudulent use my name take out an insurance policy on me without my consent and I believe that they try to terminate me so they can get the money what can I do

    1. I would call the life insurance company, the bureau of insurance, and the police!

  13. My mom has dementia, my brother is her guardian how do I find out if he has a policy if so when did she sign it

    1. Use the guide that we gave you. Look for financial records, ask financial advisors, look at bank statements. You can also perform a policy search with the MIB or Policy Locator service.

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