Can I Sell My Life Insurance Policy For Cash?

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of your life insurance policy, even term insurance?

(3 minute read)

Whether you no longer want your life insurance policy or you’re just looking for some extra cash, you may be able to recoup some of your investment by selling your policy to a third party. Life settlements are ideal when you have an immediate need for cash that outweighs your need for an active life insurance policy.

In this blog, we’ll offer some quick answers to common questions you may have, including how selling a life insurance policy works and the pros and cons to consider before selling your policy.

How does selling your life insurance policy work?

 So you’ve decided you no longer want or need your policy. The basic process for selling your policy involves assessing your options and considering the pros and cons of selling your policy to be sure you’re making the right decision.

Assessing your options

As you would with any major decision, especially one that involves a significant financial investment, you’ll want to consider the different options available to you. If your current policy isn’t aligned with what you actually need from such a policy, a life settlement provides an option for getting back the market value of your policy. 

While a life settlement isn’t the only option for converting a policy into cash, it’s certainly worth considering. If you’re looking to maximize value,  selling your policy will be preferable to either lapsing  a policy back to the insurance company (which comes with no payout) or surrendering the policy (which comes with a small payout).

What policies are eligible?

Most any policy can be sold, even term policies as long as they are convertible to a permanent policy.   There are three general requirements to qualify for a life settlement: the policyholder’s age, and the policy’s death benefit (which typically needs to be around $100,000 or more). Lastly, the current medical conditions of the insured.

How old do I have to be to sell my life insurance policy?

Companies that buy life insurance policies consider many factors in assessing a settlement’s potential value—one of these factors is the policyholder’s age, the ideal client is a male or female in their mid-70’s or older that has had a change in health since the policy was issued. Term policies can be sold as long as they are convertible. An exception to this guideline would be a male or female in their 60’s to early 70’s that has multiple chronic medical conditions and a significant health change has taken place since the policy was issued.  For an insured to qualify, their life expectancy must be 15 years or less.

The pros and cons of selling a life insurance policy

There are clear pros and cons to selling a life insurance policy for cash. The biggest of these center around the amount of the payout and potential tax consequences.

Pros: a lump sum

If you don’t want or need your policy any more, a life settlement offers a reliable way to get some value out of the investment you’ve made (through premiums paid, etc.), more so than surrendering your policy. You can expect a lump sum that is less than the policy’s death benefit, but more than the policy’s cash value. A rule of thumb is that the shorter the life expectancy, the larger the settlement.

Cons: lower payout, applicable taxes

Assuming you qualify for a settlement, one of the cons is that you won’t receive a payout as substantial as the death benefit would be.  

Many people ask, “do I have to pay taxes if I sell my life insurance policy?” And the answer is  maybe.  

  • If you sell your policy and the settlement amount is less than the amount of total premiums paid (your basis) no tax will be due.
  •  If you sell your policy for more than your basis you will pay a long term capital gain on the amount above your basis.

How much can I get for selling my life insurance policy?

There is no universal, easy answer to the question of how much cash you can expect to sell your life insurance policy for, especially if you’re not too familiar with the ins and outs of how policies accrue cash value over time. The policyholder’s age and health, as well as policy details like type and size, premium costs, and even who issued the policy. Read more about how much you can get when you sell your life insurance policy.

Let us help you navigate your options

While we’ve attempted to offer some quick answers to common questions, we expect you to have a few more. That’s what we’re here for, to understand your unique situation and find the best solution for you. Life Settlement Advisors want to help you understand if you qualify, and then we can talk through your options—the pros and cons of each, as well as what outcomes you can expect 

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance? Selling an unwanted life insurance policy is no different than selling your car, home or any other valuable asset that will create immediate cash. Contact us today to learn more.

Get in touch with Life Settlement Advisors today to take the first step toward converting your policy into cash.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors

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