How to Sell a Universal Life Insurance Policy for Cash

September 10, 2020

A senior couple enjoying a life settlement after selling their universal life insurance policy

Universal life Insurance, a type of “permanent” life insurance, can remain in force for your entire life. As with other types of life insurance, so long as the premiums on the policy are paid to cover the ongoing cost of insurance for the policy, the death benefit will be available to your beneficiaries when you die.

Many people choose universal life policies because of their low premiums (relative to whole life insurance), as well as their ability to accrue cash value over time, similar to a savings account. That cash value can be used to help pay premiums. It can also be accessed by the insured through withdraws and loans against the policy, and can be acquired by the policyowner in exchange for surrendering the policy back to the insurance company.

As with all forms of life insurance, universal life policies have advantages and disadvantages that should be considered, both when choosing to purchase a policy, and when deciding to continue paying for or terminating a policy. For example, if you only pay the minimum premiums for a universal life policy, the policy won’t build enough cash value. If you use the policy’s accumulated cash value to cover those costs, the cash value will decrease. If you do that too often, you run the risk of lapsing the policy.

Additionally, many seniors purchased universal life insurance policies when their financial goals and needs were different than they are today. In many cases, those policies no longer serve their intended purpose, and may be too expensive to maintain relative to the value it provides.

If this sounds like your situation, you may want to consider selling your universal life insurance policy in a life settlement. Life settlements pay on average four or more times a policy’s cash surrender value and can provide you with a significant cash payment.

Can I Withdraw Money from My Universal Life Insurance Policy?

While many factors determine if you can withdraw money from a universal life policy, the answer is frequently “yes.” But withdraws from a policy’s cash value reduce its death benefit, and have varying tax implications. Policyowners can also take loans against the cash value of a universal life policy, but the loan must be paid back and will reduce the policy’s death benefit by the amount of the outstanding loan. If the policy lapses with a loan outstanding, there could be some possible tax consequences.

If a universal life policyowner wants to access the value of their policy while they are still living, a life settlement may be the best option.

“Most seniors purchased their life insurance policies for good reasons,” says Michael Freedman, CEO of Lighthouse Life. “But when the time comes to enjoy the money they’ve invested along the way, they discover it’s not necessarily easy to do, and may not be in their best long-term interests. This is why many policyowners turn to life settlements as a way to realize the full market value of their policies.”

How to Sell a Universal Life Insurance Policy with a Life Settlement

A life settlement allows you to sell your life insurance policy for its market value, giving you a lump sum of cash you can use for long-term care, medical costs, retirement expenses, or anything you wish. Selling your policy generally consists of these three steps:

  1. Decide if you want your policy
  2. See if you qualify for a life settlement
  3. Accept the offer that serves you best

A life settlement can help you turn a universal life policy that has outlived its usefulness into a substantial cash windfall that can help you get the most out of your retirement. Understanding the life settlement process can help you choose your best course of action.

Decide If You Want Your Policy

People purchase life insurance policies for many reasons, from wanting to protect family members from financial hardship, to reducing business risk. However, over time these needs can change. Perhaps the beneficiaries, who were children when the policy began, are now adults without need for the policy’s death benefit. Or maybe the business has been sold, and the life insurance policy is no longer needed.

Consider your life insurance policy – are your financial needs the same now as when you initially purchased it? If not, does it make sense for you to continue paying for the policy, or could you benefit more from selling it for a large cash payout?

See If You Qualify for a Life Settlement

If you decide your universal life insurance policy no longer serves its intended purposes, or is too expensive to maintain, you should see if you qualify for a life settlement. People who qualify for a life settlement usually have these three things in common:

  1. They have a life insurance policy with a face value of $100,000 or more
  2. They are at least 65 years old
  3. They have experienced a change in their health since the policy was originally issued

Finding out if you qualify is fast and free, and you can get started in under 5 minutes by completing this short form.

Accept the Offer That Serves You Best

Many companies provide life settlements, so be sure to select the company and offer that work for you and your financial goals. At Lighthouse Life, we advocate for seniors to realize the full market value of their life insurance policies, while providing industry-leading protections and disclosures to policyowners.

Make sure the company whose offer you choose is focused on your best interests, not theirs.

Universal life insurance policies can be a sound financial tool, but make sure you understand your options when it comes to withdrawing cash or taking a loan from your policy. And if your universal life policy no longer serves its intended purpose, or is too expensive to afford any longer, consider if it makes sense to sell it for cash through a life settlement.

To learn more about life settlements for universal life insurance policies, please contact us today.