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What is a Viatical Settlement?

Couple asks what is a viatical settlement

Receive immediate cash from your existing life insurance policy through a viatical settlement.

A viatical settlement is the sale of an existing life insurance policy to a licensed viatical settlement provider for more than the policy’s cash surrender value, but less than the death benefit amount.

Selling your policy provides a lump sum cash payment today instead of collecting the policy’s death benefit in the future.  The amount of a viatical settlement offer is based primarily on the insured’s life expectancy and the cost of future policy premiums.  Once the sale is completed, the viatical settlement provider becomes the owner and beneficiary of the policy and takes over all future premium payments.  You are released from any further obligations and can use your settlement money however you please.

With a viatical settlement, you can receive up to 80% of the policy’s face value with no future premium expenses.  A viatical settlement is typically the best option for clients seeking the highest immediate up-front cash payment for their policy.

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Benefits of a Viatical Settlement

Selling a policy through a viatical settlements has become a popular way for people fighting cancer and other serious illness to obtain immediate funds to pay for medical bills, alternative treatment, housing costs, family gifts and other expenses.  Since there are no restrictions on how the funds can be used, a viatical settlement can be a smart financial option for people searching for financial peace of mind.  And since there is no federal taxation of the proceeds when the policy sale qualifies under Section 101(g) of the Internal Revenue Code, you can generally enjoy all your proceeds without any federal income tax on the funds you receive.  It’s your money. Why not use it now?

Use your viatical settlement funds however you please:

Pay for medical bills, co-pays, healthcare costs, drugs and experimental treatments
Supplement income due to an inability to work
Pay for mortgage payments and other living expenses
Take a dream vacation or check off “bucket list” items
Give gifts to family, friends or charity
Consolidate debts and pay off high interest bills

Another Client Success Story

BRAVEPORT helped Roger fund his Mom’s nursing home care with an immediate payout of $400,000 from their $1,000,000 universal life policy.

Happy mom and son after life settlement

Roger was the owner of a $1,000,000 universal life policy, insuring his 84 year Mom.  Facing increasing premium costs and nursing home expenses, Roger explored the idea of selling the policy through a life settlement to help cover her care expenses and to end the $50,000 per year insurance premiums.  After receiving a low-ball offer from a “direct funder”, Roger contacted BRAVEPORT to see if we could do better.  Through our competitive bidding process, we obtained multiple offers which resulted in a payout of nearly twice the amount offered by the “direct funder”!  Roger was thrilled and used the proceeds to help fund his Mom’s continuing nursing care.

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Who Qualifies for a Viatical Settlement?

Qualifying for a viatical settlement is based on a few basic factors, namely, your health history, policy amount and type and future premium costs:

You have been diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening or other terminal illness. 

In order to qualify for a viatical settlement, you must have been diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening or other terminal illness.  Examples of qualifying medical conditions include:  late-stage cancer (Stage III or IV), advanced-stage dementia, ALS, congestive heart failure, late-stage liver disease, renal failure, and advanced COPD.  For a list of other qualifying medical conditions, please click here.

If you do not have a serious or terminal illness and are over the age of 70, you may nonetheless qualify for one of our life settlement programs for seniors.  To learn more about these programs, please visit our companion website.

The face amount of your policy should be at least $50,000.

To qualify for a viatical settlement, your policy must have a current death benefit of at least $50,000.

Your policy type must be eligible. 

Most life insurance policy types are eligible for a viatical settlement, including, Universal Life, Whole Life, Flexible Premium Adjustable Life, Group Life, Indexed Life, as well as governmental benefit policies issued by FEGLI, VGLI and SGLI.  Term Life policies usually qualify for a viatical settlement as long as there is sufficient time left on the term, or the policy is convertible to a permanent life insurance policy.

“I feel that you really did represent our interests in maximizing the dollar amount which we received.”

How it Works

The viatical settlement process starts with our initial free consultation and ends with payment to you.  There are no credit checks or medical exams required.  Your eligibility is determined solely on whether your medical profile and policy qualify.  A viatical settlement can typically be completed within 4-6 weeks of completing our underwriting process.  Here’s a summary of how the viatical settlement process works:

1.  Free consultation and no-obligation policy review.

After you contact us, we will get in touch to pre-qualify you for a viatical settlement.  We will ask you some basic questions about your health and the policy and will discuss how much your policy may be worth as a viatical settlement.  The initial consultation usually takes no more than 10 minutes.

2.  Fill out our client questionnaire.

If you are qualified and decide to move forward, we will provide you with a short client questionnaire (via your choice of email, fax or mail) to help us gather information about your health history and the life insurance policy.  The questionnaire usually takes about 15 minutes to complete.

3.  Policy and medical underwriting begins.

Once your return the completed client questionnaire, we will obtain necessary records directly from your medical providers and your life insurance company.  After reviewing the records, we will complete our underwriting and start the competitive bidding process with our network of licensed viatical settlement buyers.

4.  The competitive bidding process.

One of the biggest advantages to working with a viatical settlement broker like us is our competitive bidding process.  Unlike “direct funders” who are motivated to offer you the lowest amount they think you will take, we will negotiate the highest offer through our network of more than 30 licensed viatical settlement buyers.  During the bidding process, we will inform you when new offers are received and update you about our progress.

5.  Review offers and decide. 

After you review all the viatical settlement offers, you will decide if you want to move forward.  If the offer isn’t high enough for you, or you choose not to proceed, you are under no obligation and can walk away at any time.  If you decide to accept an offer, we will immediately begin the closing process and handle all the paperwork for you.

6.  The closing process. 

Once you accept an offer, the licensed viatical settlement buyer will prepare the contracts for the sale and transfer of the policy.  We will help you complete the contracts and work with you to finalize the transaction.  After the buyer reviews and accepts the contracts, they will deposit the purchase funds into an escrow account and submit a request to your insurance company to transfer ownership and beneficiary rights to the policy.  Once the insurance company verifies that transfer of ownership and beneficiary has been completed, the escrow agent will send the purchase funds directly to you via wire transfer or certified check.

7.  After the sale is completed. 

Once the sale is completed, you are immediately released from any further premium payments and are free to use your viatical settlement proceeds however you choose.  The buyer will continue to make premium payments on the policy to the insurance company and will collect the policy’s death benefit upon the passing of the insured person.

Viatical settlement process chart
Husband and wife completed life settlement

What if I Want to Keep Some Coverage?

If you like the idea of ending expensive policy premiums, but still want or need to keep some life insurance coverage, a Retained Death Benefit Settlement may be right for you.

A Retained Death Benefit Settlement allows you to keep a portion of your life insurance coverage with no future premium obligations.  The Retained Death Benefit Settlement can be tailored to your individual needs and may be combined with a viatical settlement to provide an immediate cash benefit and an irrevocable beneficiary interest in the policy’s death benefit.

If you are interested in a Retained Death Benefit Settlement, we will solicit Retained Death Benefit Settlement offers in addition to our traditional viatical settlement and life insurance loan programs so you can decide which one works best for you.

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