Viatical Life Settlement
The option of viatical life settlement can make a huge difference for families who face large financial obstacles. However, as with all business transactions, there are many pros and cons associated with these agreements. The way that these settlements work is very basic and straightforward. Policyholders will sell their insurance policy to an individual or to a group of investors for a percentage of the total amount of the death benefit. The word viatical has some interesting origins. It was taken from the Latin word viaticum. This word basically deals with provisions that are made for a journey, but also is applied to a type of last rites that is sometimes offered when an individual is near death. This connotation is particularly apt when taken in consideration with the dilemmas that are faced by many individuals who choose this option. Terminally ill policyholders will often choose this arrangement as a way to pay for crushing medical expenses. The elderly may choose this option as well as a way to finance the latter portion of their lives. Such funds could be used for a variety of reasons. In addition to medical expenses, some families turn to this alternative as a way to prevent foreclosure on the family home or maintain living expenses when a policyholder has retired from the work force. Investors can benefit greatly as well, trading up front cash for future revenue while realizing a sometimes tidy profit. It would appear that a viatical life settlement is beneficial to all concerned, but this may not always be the case.
It is very important to attain wise council when considering the option of viatical life settlement. Some organizations may try to take advantage of the policyholder's desperate situation by offering far less money than the seller is fairly entitled to. In addition to speaking with an insurance agent, it could be wise to seek legal advice to make sure that the contract is on the up and up. No one wants to be involved in any kind of fraudulent arrangement. If a policyholder finds that they are suffering from a serious or terminal illness, these contracts can be a good alternative to financial devastation or out right bankruptcy. Funding agents, on the other hand, cannot hold the seller responsible if the seller is able to recover and greatly expand their life expectancy. Since the funding agent will not collect until the original policyholder passes away, the risks to the funding agent are obvious. To many individuals, this process can have something of a dark connotation. But for those in need of the funds that are made available through these contracts, this may be the only viable alternative. In many cases, purchasers may not be able to insist that policyholders undergo a medical exam before the sale of the policy is completed. However, making medical records available will generally be required. Regulation has not yet caught up with these contracts in many locations. This creates all the more reason for anyone who is considering a viatical life settlement to consult legal representation before signing any contracts.
The main difference between a standard life insurance policy and a viatical life settlement is the life expectancy of the insured individual. With standard insurance, a policy holder pays regular premiums in exchange for a lump sum of money that will be paid to a beneficiary at the time of the policyholder's death. For an agreement to be considered viatical, a shorter life expectation will come into play. Generally, anyone who's expected life span is less than two to fifteen years is eligible for a viatical life settlement arrangement, although these requirements may differ from provider to provider. There are many pros and cons that are associated with these contracts. A much quicker access to the death benefit of the policy is the most obvious benefit. Many policyholders will help to fund their own retirement through a life settlement. There may be positive tax consequences for some individuals. A seller will also no longer have the obligation to stay current in the payment of insurance premiums. In most cases, a seller may have two weeks or more to rescind the agreement if they should, for some reason, change their mind. Some of the drawbacks to these contracts could include the acquisition of income that is taxable in some cases. The future cash value of the policy will be completely unavailable to the policyholder. Beneficiaries will receive no death benefits when the policyholder passes away. There may also be cases where specific types of policies are not eligible for this type of transfer.
The peace of mind that can come from taking advantage of a viatical life settlement can be very important. A terminally ill individual has enough to deal with without the added stress of financial woes. Using life insurance policies to leverage financial help can be a real source of encouragement for suffering individuals. The Bible lets believers know that there is great strength and courage to be found in depending upon God. "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." (Psalm 27:14)
There are professional brokers who specialize in viatical life settlement cases. These brokers will work on behalf of a client to help them find the best terms on a settlement agreement. Even with the assistance of these brokers, additional legal advice may be required. Whatever choice a policyholder might make, professional advice is very important. While there are many benefits and drawbacks to these arrangements, they can provide important financial help for many individuals.
Disability Insurance SettlementDisability insurance settlement provides an individual with lost income due to injury or sickness resulting in the incapacity to work. Employers often carry long-term disability insurance as a benefit to employees. Policies usually cover a specific period of time after the individual is disabled according to his or her occupation. After the time period expires to receive further benefits a person must be considered totally disabled and unable to work at any occupation. Insurance companies use rehabilitation counselors to figure out how a person can work again. This can happen through a different occupation which may require education and training. When the insurance company offers a disability insurance settlement to the covered individual he or she may choose to accept it. Sometimes a person's injuries may be extensive and there may be a need to hire an attorney to let the court decide a fair and just settlement. Any person suffering with a disability should pray and ask God to direct all the decisions he or she makes, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Peter 5:10).
An insured person who is looking at trying to work in a different occupation may have limitations lacking the education or training to properly do the job. The insurance company is responsible for helping the insured individual to get the education that is necessary if he or she feels that the occupation is one that is suitable. Disability insurance settlement should consider the issue of what it will cost to help the insured to engage in an occupation that will allow him or her to return to the workforce. This is an important issue if the insured is not to be considered totally disabled.
Comparable earnings are the dollar amount that a person was accustomed to making before the injury or sickness took place. If the insured can not perform at an occupation that has comparable earnings to what he or she is accustomed to then a disability insurance settlement will need to include compensation. If this situation happens the insurance company may suggest that the insured consider a different occupation. A vocational counselor can help the insured to discover a different occupation that has comparable earnings while considering age and any other possible limitations.
Pre-existing conditions could exclude a person who becomes disabled from receiving benefits. If the pre-existing conditions are related in any way to the disability then an insurance company may be able to limit a disability insurance settlement. When a person finds themselves in this particular situation it is best to get legal counsel and let the court decide what is just and fair. If the insured person has sought medical care previous to the injury or illness for a related injury or illness then he or she could become excluded from receiving benefits.
Self reporting injuries or sicknesses that can not be proven by x-rays, blood tests, or other diagnostic tests may exclude an insured person from receiving benefits because they can not be medically verified. Disability insurance settlement that involves these types of conditions may need to be presented in court for determination of benefits. Some sources say that conditions that might fall in this category include fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The diagnoses of these types of illnesses are determined differently than through blood tests or x-rays. Stress has been linked to the onset of conditions such as these. Job stress over time has been known to lead to illnesses that can make it very difficult for a person to function in his or her current profession. The pain and fatigue can disable a person. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can be managed to a certain extent with medications and diet but there is no cure.
To start a disability claim an individual will need to obtain the required claim forms and fill them out completely. A physician's statement must state the diagnosis of the individual's condition along with restrictions and limitations that apply to the occupation. Disability insurance settlement must include the proper documentation, the policy, physician's statement, claim form of the insured requesting benefits, and the employer's statement. The insured has to sign a release to allow the claims administrator to obtain medical records that have to do with the claim. A job description can be very helpful and should be provided by the employer.
A claims administrator will conduct an investigation of the claim which can include a background check, medical examination, interviews of any witnesses, employment records, and any other necessary records. Disability insurance settlement is based upon the unique situation of the insured and to find out more about that unique situation a claims administrator may request a phone interview or a person-to-person interview with the insured. A claims administrator must first determine that the insured person is covered and qualifies for disability. After that, an investigation will determine that the insured qualifies for benefits and what those benefits will be. The administrator may ask for additional documentation throughout the process. When an insurance company offers a claimant a settlement or discontinues benefits the insured party may find that the only way to settle the dispute is by seeking legal counsel. Anytime an individual is in a position that he or she makes a claim for disability legal counsel is always a good idea.