This past Friday we received a call from a woman who had just learned about the Life Care Funding option from the assisted living center where her husband had recently moved. Her husband is 79 with advancing Alzheimer’s and they moved him into a care facility two months ago. Covering the costs have been a stretch for her and her adult children and the facility told her that if they have a life insurance policy they could get money for it now through a life insurance settlement by contacting Life Care Funding Group.
The good news is that they have been carrying a $100,000 life insurance policy for the last 25 years. The bad news was that because of the financial strains they are under, she stopped paying the premiums two months ago and the policy was going to lapse (cancel) that next Monday. She had called the insurance company and asked them what her options are and they told her she had two: pay the back premiums to keep the policy in-force (active), or let it lapse on Monday.
They never told her she had a third option, sell the policy in the open market through a life settlement and receive as much as 40% of the death benefit right now in a lump sum payment. After receiving premium payments for 25 years, the best option for the insurance company would be for the family to let the policy go now that her husband has Alzheimer’s and is facing a shortened life expectancy. In that case, they keep every penny paid to them in premiums and never have to pay anything to the family!
But fortunately for this family, we spoke to them before the policy lapsed and the insurance company received the premium payment in time to keep the policy in-force (the insurance company was hoping they would not see that check arrive in an overnight packet). We are now working with the family to take their policy out to the life settlement market to receive multiple bids for the policy. Based on their husband’s health, the potential for them to receive anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 is very real. That amount of money will get back the premium payments made over the years, and will make all the difference in the world to their ability to provide the best possible housing and care for their loved one.
Too few people know about the life settlement option. We hear from families every day who have let a policy lapse, or are about too, and they lose out on their opportunity to receive money that could help their loved ones during a time of crisis. As the country debates health care reform and contemplates the imminent long term care funding crisis, the life insurance industry must stop suppressing the legal rights of policy owners. Two states have passed laws (ME and WA) requiring life insurance companies to inform citizens of their legal right to a life settlement. Let’s hope the other 48 states start listening and do the same.
To read more about the legal rights of a life insurance policy owner, click below:
Legal Rights of Policy Owners