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What is a life settlement?


A life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy to a third party for a value in excess of the policy’s cash surrender value, but less than its face value, or death benefit.  A policy owner receives a cash payment, while the purchaser of the policy assumes all future premium payments and receives the death benefit upon the death of the insured.  


Candidates for life settlements are typically 65 or older and own a life insurance policy with a face amount in excess of $100,000.

Did you know:


  • Prior to the existence of the Life Settlement Market, policy owners received little, if any, economic value from policies they no longer wanted, needed or could afford.


  • In fact, even today, it is estimated that more than 90% of life insurance policies lapse due to consumer’s lack of awareness of the life settlement market.


  • Many seniors hold policies that are worth more than their cash surrender value and they don’t even know it.


  • Like other assets, the secondary market for life insurance provides liquidity. This liquidity component adds value to the life insurance policies that a consumer owns.

In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court, issued a landmark decision in the case of Grisby vs. Russell, which recognized the rights of the life insurance policy owners to transfer ownership of their life insurance policies to a third party, who happened to be unrelated to the policy owner or insured and who did not hold an insurable interest in the policy owner or insured.

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