When people take out a life insurance policy, it’s typically a step taken to prepare your loved ones for life after you pass away. What you may not know is that insurance policies are owned entities, which means they can be used as collateral for a loan or even be sold to offer money to you when you’re in a tough spot. There are also different methods available to do this, which we’ll explain in this article.
An individual who is taking out insurance will have many choices, such as whether you prefer to purchase whole life insurance or term life insurance. You also have choices when it comes to using your policy to leverage money that has already been invested in it.
Part of that is understanding the difference between a collateral assignment and an absolute assignment, so you can be sure to choose the solution that works best with your financial needs. The other part of it involves knowing the most important terms related to an assignment so that you go in with the knowledge you need.
Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance
If you have ever taken out a standard personal loan, a collateral assignment of life insurance has a lot of similarities to that process. The collateral for the loan is the life insurance policy and an organization or individual who pays out the loan is the assignee. They are also the ones who take over the policy on a conditional basis.
One important thing to know is that the assignee cannot resell the policy, make use of its cash value, or make changes to it. The assignee may only take the money for the death benefit if you, as the policyholder, default on the loan.
In the typical situation, if the collateral assignment is standing at your death, the assignee will let the insurance company know about the debt remaining, including interest. They will then be provided with that amount. If there are extra benefits, those will go to your beneficiary listed in the policy.
Absolute Assignment of Life Insurance
Another way to acquire a loan using life insurance is through an absolute assignment. This differs from collateral assignment since instead of using the loan as collateral, you are signing the full policy over to a person or entity. This person or business is considered the assignee, while the person who is selling the policy is the assignor.
The individual who buys the insurance policy gains ownership of the policy. This makes them responsible for the premiums and lets them make changes or choose different beneficiaries.
Each absolute assignment will have different terms based on the contract that is signed. For instance, it might explain that the assignor is transferring all title, rights, and interest in the policy to the assignee. Depending on the insurance company, an ownership clause may be used to make the transfer itself.
Understanding Policy Provisions
To ensure the assignee is protected, the insurance company needs to be notified that an assignment is in place. If the company doesn’t have notice of the assignment, the process might be paid to a beneficiary or a different assignee. This can be an issue since the insurance company will not pay the amount out again to another person.
Many life insurance policies come with policy provisions related to assignments. The most common include:
- The assignment is subject to all indebtedness related to the insurance company regarding the policy.
- The assignment only becomes binding when the original or duplicate is filed at the insurance company’s home office.
- The insurance provider has no responsibility for the sufficiency, effect, or the validity of the assignment.
Because of these provisions, it’s crucial to ensure that you make the assignment correctly. This applies whether it is an absolute assignment or a collateral assignment. The best thing you can do to avoid problems is to speak with an experienced insurance professional who can guide you to the best solution for your needs.
Comparing Assignments Among Life Insurance Policies
If you are in a situation where you need money and it needs to happen quickly, ask yourself whether your cash value in your life insurance policy could help you out. After you decide the answer to that, make sure that you consider the larger picture.
Going with an absolute assignment approach may be able to offer you a large sum of money at one time. However, you also need to realize that your family and loved ones will no longer have the protection that was provided by the policy. If this is a policy that you have been dutifully paying into for decades, losing all the value is something you need to decide whether you’re ready for.
On the other hand, a collateral assignment doesn’t whisk away the policy in its entirety. You can get control of your policy back as soon as you resolve your financial problem and pay back the loan. A collateral assignment is one of the most common ways to borrow from a life insurance policy to use the cash value on necessities.
Collateral assignments let you regain the benefits associated with a long-term life insurance policy at some point in the future. Since most people are familiar with paying off student loans, auto loans, and mortgages, this agreement is similar. Making all of the payments on time can help with both financial concerns in the present as well as creating long-term financial success.
Selecting Between Life Insurance Assignment Options
Every person is unique and will be in a different situation when considering a life insurance assignment. For one person, choosing a collateral assignment might be the right choice since the individual wants the life insurance benefits back after paying off the loan. Someone else may not be interested in those benefits and need a larger amount of money, which an absolute assignment can offer.
You’ll want to consider all your options before borrowing through your life insurance, whether that involves an assignment or another type of loan. Be aware of all of your options and make sure your choice is right for the present and your future financial situation.