By: Robert Lawrence
The life settlement industry was propelled into popularity by the viatical settlement industry. History has shown us that the early adopters of life settlement were those who were suffering from AIDS and who had only a couple of years to live. They sold their insurance policies assuming they would get immediate cash in return from the person who bought it. When medical breakthroughs found their way to fight the AIDS virus, these senior citizens lost out because they had to pay premiums for a long time. Some fraudulent companies also resorted to marketing this concept in order to make a fast buck by giving senior citizens the hope of further investment.
Life settlement occurs when the holder of a policy willingly sells the same for a price to the buyer, who then becomes the sole owner of the policy. The new buyer has to pay for the premiums from the date of purchase. It is common for senior citizens above the age of sixty-five to opt for life settlement, especially if there has been a negative change in their health situation. The immediate cash option is attractive because the seller is then able to fund his medical bills and take care of other responsibilities.
If you are planning a life settlement then it is best to take advise from experts who know the market. Accountants, Charitable Trust Officers, Financial Planners and Attorneys are just some of the people you can contact. Since they know the regulations and formalities involved, you will be able to make a more informed decision. The idea behind life settlement is to get a high bid for your policy. This could take a lot of work if you are working alone. A broker is sometimes arranged to find the right seller who can offer a fair market value. The benefit of hiring a broker is that you can get bids from different sellers. Thus you can choose the most favourable bid among the offerings. It sometimes becomes necessary to provide your medical history in order to secure a good bid.
Once the life settlement bid is accepted by the buyer, he then returns any confidentail papers that he might have taken for verficaiton. Change of ownership forms are then exchanged and the final deal is closed.
Some authorized life settlement agents are Action Advisors Inc, Advanced Settlements Inc, Allsettled Group Inc, Berkshire Settlements Inc, Brown & Brown Associates PC, Darrell L Tate, Don Karns Insurance Agency Inc, Fairmarket Life Settlements Corp, etc. To find an agent in your area there are several listings on the Internet. Brokers will also give you a free consultation so you can freely and confidentially discuss your financial situation.
To summarize, a life settlement is done when a person wants to sell his or her policy in return for cash. The reasons behind this could be high premiums, medical problems, employment changes, bankruptcy, etc. It is wise to be well informed about the process and even more important to find a broker or a financial advisor who can make your life settlement worth your while.
Robert co-founded Insurance4USA.com, an insurance quote shopping service, in 1999. He has been a licensed insurance agent in New York State since 1990.
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