While some people leave records behind in a superbly organized "in case of my demise" file, it's not unusual for others to pass away without letting relatives know about the existence of a life insurance policy. When someone's life insurance is lost or goes unclaimed, tracking it down can take some detective work. But it may be worth your time to see if a loved one left you something besides memories. Read more
The topic has been discussed frequently in this forum. Ken's thread here
discussed that in October 2012 AIG agreed to pay $11 million to settled an inquiry into how they handled death benefits. Several other insurers such as Nationwide Financial Services, MetLife and Prudential Financial also settled inquiries at that time.
The American Council of Life Insurers offers tips which might be useful if you decide to conduct your own search