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Life Insurance – Don’t Become a Victim of Fraud

Don’t let your search for affordable life insurance make you vulnerable to fraud. If you are contacted to purchase a life insurance policy and then immediately sell it, think twice. You may be the target of an insurance fraud.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners and your state’s Department of Insurance want policyholders to be aware that the sale of life insurance policies are being perpetrated illegally.

A little Background on Selling Life Insurance Policies

There are two types of sales and they are called life settlements and viatical settlements.

  • Life Settlement occurs when the owner of a life insurance policy sells it to a third party. The third party now becomes the owner/beneficiary of the policy. The new owner must pay the premiums and thus will collect the benefit when the original policy owner dies (as the original policy owner is still the ‘insured’).
  • Viatical Settlement: Viatical settlement is similar to the life settlement, except the original policyholder is terminally ill. Contract

Why, you may ask, would anyone sell his or her life insurance policy? There are many reasons; one of them being financial. If the insured is running into financial difficulty, they may sell the policy to a third party for the cash reward. This is a legal practice and these policies may be sold through a life insurance broker. The third party (buyer) pays the brokers commission.

Alternative to Selling Your Life Policy

Rather than selling a policy, policyholders can exercise the accelerated death benefit provision of their policy, which could pay a substantial amount of the policy’s death benefit. Additionally, the cash value of a life policy can be used as security in obtaining a loan from a bank or financial institution.

Don’t let unscrupulous people talk you into purchasing a life policy and immediately selling it. If this does occur, it is important to contact your state’s Department of Insurance immediately. Do not become a victim.

About the author: Felicia A. Williams is a former insurance broker who is now a freelance writer.

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