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Life Settlements

Updated on January 11, 2011

Life settlements are complex financial transactions.

What is a life settlement, how does it work, is a life settlement right for me?

A life settlement is a financial transaction in which a policy owner possessing an unneeded or unwanted life insurance policy sells the policy to a third party for more than the cash value offered by the life insurance company. The purchaser becomes the new beneficiary of the policy at maturation and is responsible for all subsequent premium payments.

Life settlements are an important development in that they have opened a secondary market for life insurance in which policy owners can access fair market value for their policies, rather than accepting the lower cash surrender value from the issuing life insurance company.

Life settlements trade raises complex issues:

The direct market for TLPs, also known as life settlements, is based mainly on US "whole life" policies. Unlike term assurance, which runs for a fixed period, whole life policies last a lifetime and in most cases are assignable. This means a third party can buy the policy, maintain the premiums, and receive the benefits on the original policyholder's death. The success of the investment, therefore, will depend largely on the accuracy of the medical or life expectancy report, on which the sale price is based. Investors focus on policyholders who are 65 or over and have a medical condition that reduces their life expectancy to between three and 15 years. Policyholders sell for a range of reasons but typically because they genuinely no longer need the cover, or have a pressing need for capital, in which case the circumstances might be classed as a "distress" sale.

LIfe Settlement Industry

NAF Funding - LIfe Settlements

Steps in a Life Settlement Transaction

  1. Policyowner consults with an advisor and decides to sell his or her policy.
  2. Policy owner and advisor decide whether to work with a broker or go directly to providers.
  3. Client & advisor will submit the current policy for valuation. Client releases medical information.
  4. If the policy meets criteria for a life settlement, providers send offers direct to policy owner or through a broker.
  5. Client and advisor review the offers and client makes decision on best offer.
  6. Client and advisor complete the provider's closing package, and return all essential documents.
  7. Provider places cash payment in escrow and submits change of ownership forms to the insurance carrier.
  8. Paperwork is verified and funds are transferred to the policy seller.

A Consumer’s Guide to... Selling Your Life Insurance Policy. What You Should Know About Viatical and Life Settlements

LIfe Settlements can free up cash

Life insurance policies for sale

Life Settlement Resources:

Life Settlement Solutions, Inc. is one of the largest and most respected life-settlement providers in the industry. A premier firm in the non-viatical life-settlement field, Life Settlement Solutions and its management represent one of the most experienced institutionally funded life-settlement companies, having purchased life insurance policies in excess of $2 billion in aggregate face value to date. Life Settlement Solutions is well known for competitive pricing, strong customer relationships, service, compliance and strict adherence to regulatory requirements. As a leading advocate for industry education, Life Settlement Solutions founded Life Settlement Awareness Month™ to provide valuable training on life settlements for financial professionals. This annual event offers top-of-the-line marketing support, training and industry expertise to improve producer sales activities. For information regarding Life Settlement Solutions, visit

LISA Life Insurance Settlement Association

FORTUNE Small Business Magazine Ranks Life Partners Holdings 7th in 100 Fastest Growing Small Public Company List:

Life Partners Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: LPHI), the oldest and one of the most active companies in the United States engaged in the secondary market for life insurance, was recently ranked 7th among the 100 fastest growing small public companies in the July/August issue of FORTUNE Small Business magazine. The magazine enlisted financial research firm Zacks to rank the top public companies in the U.S. with revenues less than $200 million and a stock price of more than $1, based on their percentage growth in earnings, revenue, and total return to investors over the past three years.

Strickland signs life-insurance settlement bill :

A measure that tightens state law governing the method of buying life insurance policies from consumers will take effect in September after garnering Gov. Ted Strickland's signature Wednesday.

Strickland's OK was the final hurdle for H.B. 404, which amends the Ohio Viatical Settlement Act and is aimed at improving protections for those looking to sell a policy to a third party through a so-called life-insurance settlement.

Get a Life, Plus Cash, for Insurance Policy: Jane Bryant Quinn

Need money? Got a cash-value life insurance policy? Not feeling too well these days? You may be approached to sell your policy to an investor for cash up front. Maybe that's a good idea, but maybe not. You might part with a valuable policy unnecessarily and incur taxes you didn't expect.

DisclaimerThe content of this page is not affiliated with the company names or products discussed, listed, presented or shown. The information provided is for general information purposes only and without warranties of any kind. Company names and products shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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