How Much Do Viatical Settlements Typically Sell For?

Rebecca Parson
Rebecca Parson

Rebecca Parson

Author

Rebecca Parson is a financial and tech writer with 10 years of experience writing about topics such as life insurance, commodities investing, and the SaaS industry. She has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Washington. Her writing has appeared at money.com, sacbee.com, cart.com, herodevs.com, blanchardgold.com, and more.

Brian OConnel
Brian OConnel

Brian O'Connel

Contributor

Brian O’Connell has been a contributing writer for U.S News & World Report since 2016. A former Wall Street bond trader and the author of two best-selling books; “The 401k Millionaire” and “CNBC’s Creating Wealth”, he has 20 years experience covering business news and trends, particularly in the business and financial sectors. He believes education is the best gift a financial consumer can receive – and brings that philosophy to every story he writes. His byline has appeared in dozens of top-tier national business publications, including CBS News, Bloomberg, Time, MSN Money, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, TheStreet.com, Yahoo Finance, CBS Marketwatch, and many more.

By Rebecca Parson, Brian O'Connel
Author, Contributor, Life Insurance

The value of a viatical settlement depends on several factors, such as the insured individual’s life expectancy, future premium obligations, and the policy’s face amount. The amount that a viatical settlement typically sells for can vary greatly but generally ranges from 40% to 80% of the policy’s face value. This wide range means that a policy with a face value of $100,000 could sell for anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000. The offer from a seller will almost always fall between the cash surrender value and the face value of the policy.

The two main determinants of the final offer will be determined by health and future premiums owed to keep the policy in good standing.

Health: In a viatical settlement, life expectancy is the primary determinant of an investor’s offer. An insured with a life expectancy of 14 months will receive a higher offer than an insured with a life expectancy of 24 months. 

Future Premiums:  Another factor that affects the offer is future premiums. The policyholder may have stopped paying their premiums, or they might be high, and the investor will be obligated to pay them to keep the policy in good standing. The higher the premiums and the faster they are projected to rise, the lower the offer from an investor will be. 

Other Factors That Determine The Value of a Viatical Settlement

While health and future premiums are the two primary factors to value a life settlement, there are other factors that investors will look at that will affect their offer.

Age: Given a similar life expectancy, a viatical on an older individual will typically have higher premiums and, therefore, command a lower price than a similar one on a younger individual.

Policy Type: The type of policy can also affect the amount a seller can expect to receive from a viatical settlement. Non-convertible term life insurance policies at the end or near the end of the term command a lower price than similar permanent Universal life or Whole life policies. On a non-convertible term policy, if the insured lives longer than the number of years specified in the policy, the current owner will face a total loss of capital or costly premiums. Depending on the case’s specifics, these policies often sell for significantly less than 40% of the face value due to the added risk involved.

Medical Advancement: Another factor that plays a vital role in pricing viatical settlements is future medical developments. A viatical settlement purchaser should consider not only the current life expectancy but also the possibility of its extension due to medical advancement in the future. Purchasers may assume conditions such as certain cancers are more areas in which significant medical breakthroughs are more likely, and the offers will decrease accordingly. 

Market Conditions: Market conditions also play a role in determining the selling price of viatical settlements. Interest rates are a crucial factor in the pricing model of any future income stream investment. As interest rates rise, the amount a seller will pay for a given policy will decrease. As interest rates fall, the higher the offer from a seller will be. However, the shorter the life expectancy, the less market conditions play a role in pricing viatical settlements. 

Fees

It’s important to note that the final selling price of a viatical settlement may also include fees and commissions paid to brokers or other involved parties. These costs vary greatly and should be thoroughly researched and discussed before entering into a contract with a viatical settlement broker or buyer.

Sell your life insurance policy for cash.

See if you qualify now.

We’re here to help. Speak with a Policy Specialist today at +1 848-456-8333