By: Kristen Drake, Managing Director, PolicyFind

Insurance archeology is an important term for all business and property owners to know. For anyone unsure of the services and benefits of hiring an insurance archeologist, or anyone who has contemplated hiring one, here are four frequently asked questions related to insurance archeology.

Q: What is insurance archeology?

A: The term “insurance archeology” describes the process of finding or recovering historical insurance policies that covered individuals or businesses—which could be worth the price of environmental investigation and cleanup, or an unrelated lawsuit. Insurance archeology encompasses a wide range of services that are beneficial to a variety of client types.

Q: What types of businesses or organizations can benefit from insurance archeology services?

A: Past insurance policies can be beneficial in providing coverage for a number of different situations. Some specific examples we have seen include:

  • Plumbing and building supply companies defending product liability claims from exposure to products sold containing asbestos;
  • Municipalities involved in litigation;
  • Manufacturers of pumps defending product liability claims from exposure to asbestos gaskets;
  • Churches and schools defending personal injury claims;
  • Dry cleaners defending against environmental property damage claims brought by neighboring business property owners;
  • Business property owners defending property damage claims by state environmental authorities
  • Insurance companies defending policyholders against environmental property damage claims and wishing to document insurance coverage of other potentially responsible parties;
  • Real estate developers, environmental consultants, attorneys and regulatory agencies.

Q: When should business or property owners begin searching for and storing the historical insurance coverage of their business?

A: Business or property owners should locate and securely store their historical insurance policies immediately. These old policies can provide significant liability coverage, and you don’t want to wait until an issue arises to begin looking.

Q: Is insurance archeology still useful if you’ve misplaced or destroyed old insurance policies? 

A: Should you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of these policies and have either misplaced or destroyed them, an experienced insurance archeologist can help. Insurance archeologists, such as those at PolicyFind, can locate evidence of past insurance policies to help secure coverage for you or your business.

PolicyFind’s expert team of insurance archeologists are experienced in locating historical insurance policies and are able to handle almost any situation where past policies need to be found. To learn more about PolicyFind’s services and whether they can be of benefit to you or your company, call 866-888-7911 or email

Kristen Drake brings more than a decade of research and managerial experience in broadcast journalism to the field of insurance archeology. Since joining the PolicyFind team in 2015, Mrs. Drake has successfully documented liability insurance programs on behalf of municipalities, manufacturers and dry cleaners. She continues to translate her expertise in source procurement and digital fact-finding, performing insurance research activities at a very high level, providing on-time execution of contracted performance goals.