Life Settlement: Towards A Free Market for Life Insurance

The Life Settlement market is all about providing due access to needed cash from existing life insurance.

This so-called free market referred to as the life insurance industry's secondary market is based on a central premise, namely that the value of life insurance is best determined by independent market forces and has been validated in recent years by its rapid growth. It is also amazing to see the value creation and opportunities that this market presents. What it a life settlement and why may it be an attractive financial alternative to policy holders?

Various market providers in this sector of the industry are focused on servicing viatical settlements, life settlements, and senior settlements. Maximizing the profitable offering price for your life insurance policy in what is commonly referred to the secondary market for life insurance. Quite innovative, albeit counter-intuitive, advocating looking at things from a totally different perspective and finding new value in life insurance

Life insurance provides financial solutions to meet various needs of businesses and families. Over time, however it also needs to be dynamic and change with the holders and the/their demands. For example as loans are repaid , key executives retire, estates become smaller, businesses are sold, estate taxes are reduced - or better yet, no longer exist of in cases where the policy simply becomes too expensive it is definitely time to revisit said policy.

Until just several years ago, individuals in the situations laid out about above were facing a monopoly, a market situation in which a seller can only sell to one buyer. Imagine if a homeowner, after living in the home for many years, was told that instead of being permitted to sell the home to any willing buyer, he or she could only sell it back to the original builder at the price determined by the builder. Clearly, no one would tolerate such a situation for homeowners, but it has existed for life insurance policy owners. For many years, policy owners have had only one buyer for their policies - the life insurers. The advent of a secondary market has lessened the monopoly power of life insurers and created a free market for policy owners to create value from and using their insurance.

Before the advent of the secondary market, life insurance policies could not readily be sold, and it would have made little sense to speak of a policy's fair market value. By its very existence, this new and growing secondary market for life insurance bestows on every policy a fair market value like the owner's other financial assets. A life settlement can now be treated like any other financial vehicle.

Jon Thomas has been involved in finance and insurance, specializing in emerging growth markets since 1979.

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