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Author Topic: Viacital - What is your opinion?  (Read 1840 times)

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Offline CobaltKid

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  • Posts: 7
Viacital - What is your opinion?
« on: June 26, 2007, 02:54:39 PM »
Hey guys,  I have a dilemma.  I have been out of work now for a while, strapped for cash thinking about selling a life insurance policy.  I want your opinion.  Let be just say I am not sick yet, but am a long term survivor been pos for over 15 years without any symptoms.  Thank you HAART.

Here is the situation.  I have term life which means I have to pay about $1000 a year just to keep it going.  It is the kind that is NOT a savings account so I can not cash it out 20 years from now or expect some kind of nest egg.  Anyways, I have been checking out if it possible to sell it to a viatical company instead of letting it go into default.  Apparently, things have changed quite a bit since the 90s.  After being burned with people living longer then expected, they restructured that industry to look more long term.  They now call it "life settlements"  which basically means they have been going after people 65 and older who want to cash out and will probably kick the bucket within 20 years. 

I donít know if I will do this or even if I will qualify but I guess I have some philosophical questions with doing this.  The first thing that comes to mind is "they are betting on your death".  I have read this a lot from sites that warn of the danger of selling your insurance.  But after thinking about this and doing some research, it seems like an urban ledged.  Apparently, the reason most life insurance companies are profitable is because most people default or cancel their insurance within 7 years.  This makes total sense to me since if everyone held on to their insurance and paid all the premiums it would never cover the payouts.  So really arenít the original insurance companies really the ones betting your death?  The Viatical companies on the other hand are buying your policy for 50% on the dollar.  Where is the bet there?  We all are going to die some day, and no one is going to win some bet and live to be 200.  If these new plans are more long term like 20 years, why do people still say this?  Isnít it basically a business transaction at this point?  I was thinking, even if I had money to give when I die, arenít those people who would be my beneficiaries also be betting on my death?

The other thing I canít get over yet, is if you do sell your policy, they need to contact you or someone else on a regular basis to see if you are gone.  I feel like its bad Karma or blood money.  But on the other hand, the money could go to good use whether I use it for some kind of nest egg pay off my bills or enjoy some things in life before itís over.  I donít have kids, and my partner is the only one I am concerned about.  But since he is basically the big bread winner at the moment, if I left this nest egg in his name in case I die would you feel that cancels out the bad vibe?  Also, I could prepay all my funeral expenses so he wouldnít have to worry about that.  Not talking a million dollars here, I am guessing with a 50% on the dollar buy out maybe equal to about 2 years of an average salary.

What do you guys think, what would you do?

Offline milker

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Re: Viacital - What is your opinion?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 03:01:55 PM »
Assuming that he has legal right to be named on your life insurance, then you should discuss with him what amount would be reasonable for him to get when you die. Prepaid funeral expenses is a good idea too, and making sure you have will that says what you want him to do in case of death or terminally ill situations shall help a lot too. You could plan with a certified accountant too, that may help you get an idea of what his expenses would be.

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Offline jack

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Re: Viacital - What is your opinion?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 03:29:01 PM »
cash it out and party or invest it. Both are better than leaving it to someone....

Offline allanq

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Re: Viacital - What is your opinion?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 05:53:34 PM »

I did a viatical settlement in 1998 for three life insurance policies. At that time, the viatical settlement companies hadn't yet caught on to the fact that the new protease inhibitors were about to give new hope to people with HIV and that living with HIV was no longer an automatic death sentence. The viatical companies vied for business in all the gay newspapers and in magazines like POZ. Each issue used to have at least half a dozen ads from different viatical settlement companies.

Those days are gone. As you mentioned, the viatical settlement companies have restructured their business and now go after old people with conditions like cancer, where a quick death is much more likely than for someone with HIV. I rarely see advertisements for viatical settlement companies in gay or HIV-oriented publications.

If you can find a company that wants to buy your policy, then I think you should go ahead and do it. However, don't expect too much. I doubt whether you'll get as much as 50% of the death benefit. Once they buy your policy, they'll have to continue paying premiums, so that will eat into any profit they may hope to get. With term policies, the premiums go up each time the term period ends and the policy is renewed. This further lowers the "return" for the viatical settlement company and would lower their purchase offer.

You didn't mention if you are on disability. If you are, and your policy has a disability waiver of premium benefit, you might not have to pay premiums during the length of your disability.

I don't think much about the "karmic" aspects of selling my life insurance. They had full access to my medical records, and based on that, they decided that I didn't have long to live. This was a financial decision for the viatical settlement company and for me. It turned out that the viatical settlement company made a poor investment by betting on my imminent death. I do send them a postcard or e-mail each month to let them know that I'm still alive and kicking. This doesn't bother me. It's just another thing to do each month, like paying my credit card or phone bill. I hope to be sending many, many more postcards and e-mails to that viatical settlement company.


« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 06:03:30 PM by allanq »
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Offline pozniceguy

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Re: Viacital - What is your opinion?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2007, 06:42:28 PM »
I have to agree with Allan...  I also inquired about selling a policy in 1995....the companies assumed I was not going to live very long because of my really rotten , at the time, medical record.......they still only offered just less than 40% of value......I kept  policy..made family members beneficiaries  and bought a prepaid ( complete service , not an insurance policy) burial package......no decisions for anyone to make just call a phone number and they do every thing needed...permits, services,transport etc.....

On reflection.. I guess I would have made out if I had taken the money and invested in Dell  then I would have left some relatives a lot of money...they really don't need it....so everyone lives with choices....can't go back...

Making choices after death occurs is a real tough thing for whoever is left with that issue...If you make them up front you will really help your partner/family/friends  who can just remember the good times the way you want them to..

If you decide to keep policy  don't forget all the worthy organizations,groups, charities and other possible beneficiaries.....who would really appreciate the money/property...

remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
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Offline bear60

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Re: Viacital - What is your opinion?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 07:32:23 PM »
Hey Kid
I doubt you could sell this policy to a viatical company. But, its still a good idea to leave all your affairs in order so that if something happens to you , your partner will not find a mess to deal with.
Living will...in place
Beneficiaries.... named correctly on policies.
Burial or cremation....paid for and instructions about the ashes in your will.
I forgot to give instructions for the ashes....have to work on that one!
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia


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