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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


What If I Outlive The Time Period Estimated By The Purchaser?

Nothing happens.

Any risk that results from your outliving your estimated longevity is solely the purchaser's -- not yours.

How Do I Assure Confidentiality If I Sell My Life Insurance?

Viatical settlements and Life/Senior Settlements involve the collection of personal information including medical records, insurance data, and other identifying information such as your Social Security number.

While there is no absolute guarantee of confidentiality, there are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Only select a purchasing company that safeguards the confidentiality of your information and can explain the steps they take to keep your information confidential to your satisfaction.
  • If your state you live in requires licensing of purchasing companies, only work with a company that is licensed in your state of residence. Most of these regulations require that personal and medical information be kept confidential.
    • The following states regulate Viatical Settlements: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. If your state is not listed, contact your state Insurance Department offsite link to learn whether a law has been adopted. (If it has, please let us know at Survivorship A to Z).
    • The following states regulate Life Settlements: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia. If your state is not listed, contact your state Insurance Department offsite link to learn whether a law has been adopted. (If it has, please let us know at Survivorship A to Z.
  • If you live in a state that does not regulate Viatical Settlements or Life Settlements, choose a company that is licensed in other states -- the more states the better.
  • Ask any purchasing company that you consider working with what their practices are regarding confidentiality. Ask them to put this information in writing.

What If My Life Insurance Includes A Double Indemnity Provision In The Event Of Death By Accident?

Keep the right to the proceeds in case you die as the result of an accident. Also keep the right to change the beneficiary for this portion of your life insurance. This should not be a problem for a purchaser. In fact, if the state has a law which regulates the purchasing company, it may not be allowed to purchase this type of insurance.

What If My Policy Includes The Right To Increase The Death Benefit?

Either keep the right to any increase(s) in the death benefit of your life insurance policy, or negotiate a fair price for those rights at the time of sale.

Will Anyone Contact My Beneficiary If I Sell My Life Insurance?

Most purchasing companies require that each primary beneficiary sign a release waiving any claims to the proceeds of the life insurance policy. Purchasers request the release to reduce their risk of being sued by your beneficiaries.

If you do not want your beneficiary contacted about your policy sale, consider changing your beneficiary to someone you would not mind asking to sign a release. Before you choose that person, remember that if you die before the sale is completed, that person will actually receive the proceeds of your policy.

An alternative is to name your own estate as the beneficiary. You could then sign the release on behalf of the estate. If you have a valid Will, you can make the change at any time knowing that the insurance proceeds will be paid to the people you care about should you die before the sale is complete because the proceeds will pass as directed in your Will.

If you do not have a Will and make the proceeds payable to your estate, you run the risk that if you die, the money will be paid as directed by the laws of your estate in which you reside, rather than as you would have wished.

Do I Have To Sell All Of My Policy Or Can I Sell Part Of It?

You may be able to sell your life insurance policy in parts.

First find out what the minimum amount of death benefit is required for purchasing companies that are interested in your particular situation.

Start by asking your life insurance company to divide the policy into several replacement policies. Be sure to confirm with the insurance company that the new policies will be deemed to replace your existing policy so the issue dates of the new policies are the same as the issue date of your existing policy. This avoids the imposition of a new suicide and/or contestable period.

If the insurance company won't divide your policy, many purchasing companies will agree to purchase part of an undivided policy. The simplest method of accomplishing this is to transfer title to the whole policy to the purchaser. You keep the right to name the beneficiary for the difference between the amount you sell and the death benefit. (If you use this method, you can't go directly to the life insurance company when you want to change your beneficiary for the part of the insurance you continue to own. You will have to rely on the purchaser to inform the life insurance company of the change. It is also advisable to get the purchaser to agree to inform you before any decisions are made about the policy so you can have a say in the portion that you still own.

Should I Remove Any Cash From My Life Insurance Policy Prior To A Sale?

Many life insurance policies have “cash value” - an accumulation of money in the policy that you can borrow against. When you borrow the money, you receive 100 cents on the dollar versus a sale of the same amount where you will receive less than 100 cents for each dollar.

Once you take the cash value, you can sell the rest of the death benefit.

Since obtaining cash value is considered a loan against the policy, if you remove all or part of the cash value, a purchaser will simply deduct from an offer they make an amount equal to the loan plus an amount for interest. The interest reflects the fact that a withdrawal from the cash value causes interest to accumulate until the “loan” is repaid. Rather than wait for the death of the insured and allow the insurance company to deduct the cash value loan amount from the net death benefit, purchasers will generally pay back the “loan” to avoid the accrued interest charges that would otherwise continue to accumulate.

If your finances are such that you don’t want to wait the amount of time it takes for a sale to occur, taking a loan against the policy can be a means of obtaining money right away, while waiting for the sale of the policy to take place.

What If I Have A Problem With A Purchasing Company?

Many states have regulations governing the Viatical Settlement industry and Life Settlements/Senior Settlements.

If you encounter a problem with a company, contact the insurance department in your state for assistance. For a state by state list of insurance departments, click here offsite link.