The Impact of Rising COI on the Life Settlement Market
There was a time when the COI (cost of insurance) charge on a universal life insurance policy was virtually assured to stay stable. Those who purchased policies looked at historical trends and concluded that their premiums weren’t likely to go up because of an increase in COI, defined as the amount a policyholder pays to cover the value of the death benefit.
According to the Department of Financial Services a COI is the premium rate for a life insurance policy is based on two underlying concepts: mortality and interest. A third variable is the expense factor which is the amount the company adds to the cost of the policy to cover operating costs of selling insurance, investing the premiums, and paying claims.
But the landscape has changed, and universal policy owners find themselves in a season of uncertainty about COI and, consequently, the potential roller coaster trend in their premiums. In a recent presentation at a Life Insurance Settlement Association conference, QuantRes consultant Matthew Sheridan spoke about the uptick in COI and presented a model predicting which types of policies are most likely to be hit by the increases in the coming years.
According to Sheridan, his predictive model suggests that older, underpriced policies are the most likely to be hit with COI increases. It’s a trend with several different repercussions for those who sell or buy insurance policies on the life settlement market, including:
More interest in life settlements from policyholders
When COIs rise and premiums go up accordingly, seniors who are already living on a limited budget are often more likely to look into a settlement as a way to unload those premiums and bring in extra income. A life settlement isn’t the right answer for everyone, but anyone with a burdensome policy should calculate their potential eligibility for a settlement.
A movement away from universal policies
Consumers and investors alike are concerned about the stability of universal life policies due to the unpredictability of the COI increase trend. This upturn has led to more careful examination of different types of policies in search of more stable cost structures. If universal policies become less popular, the providers might respond to market forces and make moves to stabilize COI.
Our Magna life settlement experts stand ready to answer policy owners’ questions about their rising premiums and the best options for turning a burdensome policy into a needed financial windfall. To find out if the sale of your policy might be right for you, schedule a call with a Magna specialist today.