Audits of life insurance company policies have uncovered more than $31 million in unclaimed property for beneficiaries in the past eight years.

State Treasurer John Kennedy said his department discovered the benefits after comparing the outstanding policies of a dozen insurance companies with the Social Security Death Master File. The reviews turned up a number of policies, including one $500,000-plus payout, where heirs didn’t realize the policies existed.

The audits are just one component of the unclaimed property program. Since 1972, the Unclaimed Property Program has returned more than $338 million to nearly 570,000 Louisiana citizens.

Louisiana residents can search for missing money online at www.LATreasury.com or call the Treasury’s toll-free hotline at (888) 925-4127 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.