A life settlement occurs when a life insurance holder sells their policy to a third party for a set amount of money (generally less than the death benefit amount). The third party then collects on the insurance policy when the original holder dies at a later date.
The life insurance settlements business started over 100 years ago, when a doctor chose to help out a patient that was dying, by providing him money for treatment and in return getting the patient’s life insurance policy. On his death, the doctor collected on the policy. It was such a radical idea that the doctor had to go to court (Grigsby vs Russell) to defend what he did, that a life insurance policy was an asset. He won and the life settlement industry was started.
It lay dormant for many years until the AIDS epidemic started. So many young men dying that needed money to help treat this new and horrible disease that started in the early 1980s. A new form of life settlements was created, called Viatical Settlements, that dealt with a person selling their policy that was terminally ill.
The industry went through a number of changes and more government regulation was implemented to help keep the business honest. Seniors discovered it in the late 1990s as a way to help supplement their later years for something that they could no longer afford or wanted. By 2005, the life settlement industry had grown to more than $5 billions in size. The industry is quite an intricate one so if you are looking to learn more about it, visit Life insurance Settlements today.
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