Life Settlement

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Life Settlement'

The selling of one's life insurance policy to a third party for a one time cash payment. The purchaser then becomes the beneficiary of the policy and begins paying the premiums. Typically the purchaser is an experienced institutional investor, and policies will have face amounts in excess of $250,000.

A life settlement is similar to a "viatical settlement".

BREAKING DOWN 'Life Settlement'

Life settlements are usually only done when the insured person doesn't have a known life-threatening illness. They are often done with "key individual" insurance policies held by companies on executives who no longer work there; the company has a chance to cash out on a policy that was previously illiquid.

Sometimes people outgrow their need for a specific life insurance policy, and a life settlement may offer the chance to gain more than the policy's cash surrender value.

RELATED TERMS
  1. European Life Settlement Association ...

    An organization created to promote fair standards for the life ...
  2. Estate Planning

    The collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual's ...
  3. Universal Life Insurance

    A type of flexible permanent life insurance offering the low-cost ...
  4. Institutional Investor

    A non-bank person or organization that trades securities in large ...
  5. Trustee

    A person or firm that holds or administers property or assets ...
  6. Beneficiary

    Anybody who gains an advantage and/or profits from something. ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Cashing In Your Life Insurance Policy

    Tough times call for desperate measures, but is raiding your life insurance policy even worth considering?
  2. Options & Futures

    Getting Started On Your Estate Plan

    With some preparation, you can save your heirs from paying a hefty estate tax. Here are some tips.
  3. Home & Auto

    Life Insurance Clauses Determine Your Coverage

    Understanding these key parts of your policy will help you to ensure that your family will be covered.
  4. Options & Futures

    Your Will: Why You Need A Power Of Attorney And Beneficiaries

    What would happen if you were suddenly unable to manage your financial affairs? Preparation is the best protection.
  5. Insurance

    Who is a Beneficiary?

    A beneficiary is a person or entity that receives funds, assets, property or other benefits from a trust, will, or life insurance policy.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR S&P Insurance

    Learn about the SPDR S&P Insurance exchange-traded fund, which follows the S&P Insurance Select Industry Index by investing in equities of U.S. insurers.
  7. Insurance

    Top 5 Car Insurance Companies in Florida

    Learn which car insurance companies lead the Florida market in terms of market share and new premium dollars, and discover which companies are growing fastest.
  8. Retirement

    Strategies for a Worry-Free Retirement

    Worried about retirement? Here are several strategies to greatly reduce the chance your nest egg will end up depleted.
  9. Markets

    The 5 Biggest Canadian Insurance Companies

    Learn more about the insurance industry as a whole, how it functions in Canada, and the five largest Canada-based insurance companies.
  10. Professionals

    What Kind of Insurance Do RIAs Need?

    Advisors spend a lot of time discussing insurance with clients but they also need to consider their own coverage needs as small-business owners
RELATED FAQS
  1. What level of reserve ratios is typical for an insurance company to protect against ...

    In the United States, and most developed nations, regulators impose required statutory capital reserve ratios on insurance ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What risks do I face when investing in the insurance sector?

    Like all equity investments, insurance companies present investors with market risk. Insurance companies, like banks, also ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the main factors that impact share prices in the insurance sector?

    The main factors that impact share prices in the insurance sector are interest rates, earnings and actuarial risk. In the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why do insurance policies have deductibles?

    Insurance policies have deductibles for behavioral and financial reasons. Moral Hazards Deductibles mitigate the behavioral ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Which emerging markets are seeing the strongest growth in the insurance sector?

    The emerging market economies seeing the strongest growth for the insurance sector are primarily the main emerging market ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  2. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  3. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  4. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  5. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
  6. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that can be deducted from taxable income by a widow, thereby reducing ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!