Dear Mr. Kritis,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
If you are researching life insurance information for a specific serviceman that served during World War I, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were separated from the service before 1960 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. While it is true that the majority of Army and Army Air Corps personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, some did survive the fire. Also, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard OMPFs were not affected by the fire. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates (such as for dates), but the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file if it survived the fire. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.
Another source of potential information about insurance is the Deceased Veterans Claims (XC Files) in the Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Record Group 15). Please note that these records will only include life insurance information if the veterans’ survivors filed a claim under one of the insurance programs. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information. Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Veteran claims files may be in the custody of the Department of Veterans Affairs if they were still active in 1955 when the inactive files were transferred to the National Archives. If RL-SL has already informed you that they do not have the file, please file a FOIA request with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Their FOIA website is https://www.va.gov/foia/. All questions regarding VA’s FOIA procedures and fees may be emailed to VACOFOIAService@va.gov.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!