Are You Getting the Maximum Value from Your Life Settlement Broker?
Entrusting the sale of your client’s life insurance policy to a life settlement broker is one of the most important decisions an advisor can make. Why? Because partnering with the right life settlement broker is essential to obtaining the highest possible value for your life insurance policy.
But aside from obtaining the highest offer, there are numerous other reasons to choose the right secondary market partner. Choosing the right broker begins by understanding the functional role of the broker and then setting expectations.
This article is the first in a series of topics that we will be publishing over the next several months highlighting the value-added services offered by Asset Life Settlements to advisors and their clients.
Select a Broker Who Offers Turn Key Services
Most experienced life settlement brokers, such as Asset Life Settlements, offer “turn key” services which minimize the amount of work and life settlement expertise required on the part of the advisor.
As noted in our infographic “The Three Stages of the Life Settlement Process”, experienced brokers work with a dedicated team of back office professionals who shoulder the bulk of the work when it comes to prepping the case for sale. This process, which is known as “underwriting,” typically involves the following:
- Pre-qualifying the applicant in preliminary interviews and written documentation
- Obtaining a mortality analysis, which means purchasing Life Expectancy Certificates (known as LE reports) from two separate actuarial consultants
- Obtaining in force policy illustrations from the insurance carrier
- Assembling/purchasing medical records
- Preparing the case for submittal to multiple secondary market buyers who are licensed in the state in which the insured resides
Use Our Due Diligence Checklist
As with any important financial transaction or business decision, the first step to choosing a life settlement partner is to perform your due diligence. This process typically involves visiting the broker’s website to learn more about them and then following up with a telephone interview involving a specific set of questions.
Below is a checklist of items that should be part of your due diligence review before choosing your secondary market partner:
Fiduciary Duty: We recommend conducting an Internet search to determine whether the broker’s website has messaging that emphasizes their “fiduciary duty” and commitment to the policy seller (versus the policy buyer). For example, an Internet search using the phrases “fiduciary duty” and “Asset Life Settlements” brings you to our About Us page stating that “we are dedicated to fulfilling our fiduciary duty to negotiate the highest possible amount for each policy.”
Licensure: Make sure the broker is licensed/authorized to represent policy sellers in multiple states. This is a clear sign that the life settlement company is committed to their business model and has the financial resources to pay for licensure and bonding requirements in multiple jurisdictions. Asset Life Settlements is licensed/authorized to conduct transactions in 48 states.
Experience: The secondary market has been around for approximately 20 years and has gone through phases of growth and contraction. Brokers who have been in the industry throughout that time are the most knowledgeable when it comes to understanding the funding parameters of potential buyers. The co-founders of Asset Life Settlements have more than 45 years combined industry experience.
E&O Coverage: Does the broker offer free E&O coverage to advisors? Most insurance advisor carry E&O coverage, but what they may not know is that regular E&O coverage generally does not cover life settlement transactions. Asset Life Settlements provides free E&O coverage to its partners/advisors without any cost to them.
Life Expectancy Reports & Medical Records: As noted above, the underwriting process requires the purchasing of two Life Expectancy Certificates as well as the insured’s medical records. We shoulder all costs associated with obtaining those documents.
Check for Any Binding Language in Contract Documents: Some life settlement brokers require advisors to sign documents that include exclusive right to sell language. This means that the advisor is bound by this legal document to use that broker exclusively for the specified period of time. At Asset Life Settlements, we do not require advisors to sign agreements that bind them to our services.
If you have questions about how to choose a life settlement partner or want to discuss a potential case, contact us at 1-855-768-9085.