Mary Lou Sowa lost her parents within weeks of each other back in 2006. She went through all of their personal papers but didn't find all the life insurance policies.
It wasn't until 2015 that Sowa stumbled upon an unclaimed $7,000 policy in her parent's name through Florida’s unclaimed funds website.
Stories like Sowa’s became the basis for a measure that passed the House and Senate earlier this year. The Department of Financial Services convinced lawmakers to pass a bill that would require insurance companies to check Social Security's death master file list against their list of clients and notify beneficiaries.
The state estimates it is in the process of returning $500 million to beneficiaries who never knew policies existed.
Now that the governor has signed the bill, people like Sowa will no longer wait years after their loved one's death to collect on the policy. The law takes effect July 1.