A 'steady uptick' as new capital flows in
ORLANDO, FL–(Marketwired – May 8, 2015) – Investment capital has returned to the life settlements industry and the business is experiencing a steady uptick as more American seniors are made aware of a life settlement as an alternative to lapsing or surrendering a life insurance policy, according to speakers at the 21st Annual Spring Life Settlement Conference.
The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) hosted the conference, which was held May 3-5, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Boston. The event brought together a wide range of industry participants — including life settlement brokers, providers, financing entities and other investing professionals — to discuss marketplace trends and new business opportunities.
A life settlement is the sale of a person's life insurance policy to a third-party investor. In a life settlement, the policy's owner transfers the ownership of that policy in exchange for an immediate cash payment from the buyer. Candidates for life settlements are typically aged 65 or older, with a life insurance policy that has a "face value" (death benefit) of more than $100,000.
"Capital is returning to the life settlement industry, the regulatory framework is in place to protect the integrity of the business, and demographic trends are favorable for life settlements as millions of Baby Boomers have now entered their retirement years," said Michael Freedman, president of GWG Holdings.
"It's clear from the conversations at this year's Spring Conference that the life settlement industry is poised for sustained growth in the years ahead, with attendees here reporting a significant increase in market activity," said Darwin Bayston, president and chief executive officer of LISA.
"The key to the future is to raise awareness among seniors and their financial advisors of the existence of the life settlement option as an alternative to lapsing or surrendering a life insurance policy." Bayston pointed to a survey prepared for the Insurance Studies Institute, which reported that more than half of seniors over the age of 65 are not familiar with the option to consider selling their life policy. Further, 90 percent of seniors who have lapsed a policy would have considered selling it if they had known a life settlement was an option.
"There are an astounding number of seniors out there who lapse or surrender their life insurance policies every single day, with no knowledge of the fact that there are alternatives available to them," said John Welcom, president and chief executive officer of Welcome Funds, Inc.
"These people should at least be informed by their financial advisors or insurance agents of the life settlement option so they have all of the information they need to make an informed decision about what to do with their own property." The conference featured a special luncheon address on May 4th by Dan Judson, the newly appointed Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner.
Commissioner Judson, who was just appointed to his position by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on April 27th, has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry in both the public and private sectors. In his remarks, he reported an increase in the number of new entrants into the life settlement business in Massachusetts and also noted, "there are no records of consumer complaints against anyone associated with a life settlement transaction in the commonwealth of Massachusetts."
LISA officials also debuted the association's new website (www.lisa.org) at the conference. The new site provides consumers with an introduction to life settlements, delivers detailed content to financial advisors regarding how life settlement transactions work, and offers a wide range of information resources for anyone interested in learning more about the life settlement option.
About the Life Insurance Settlement Association
The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) is the nation's oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement Industry, with a current membership of more than 90 companies doing business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The mission of LISA is to promote the development, integrity and reputation of the life settlement industry, to advance the highest standards of practice and professional development for the industry, and to educate consumers and advisors about a life settlement as an alternative to lapse or surrender of a life insurance policy. For more information, visit www.lisa.org.