Converting Your Life Insurance Policy to Income

Converting Your Life Insurance Policy to Income
This page was originally published October 4, 2022 and updated January 8, 2023.

A life insurance policy is a great way to protect your loved ones financially when the unexpected occurs. But what happens if you need money while you’re still alive? In some cases, you may be able to convert your life insurance policy into income. Keep reading to learn more about how this works and what type of policies are eligible. If you are struggling with expenses after a cancer diagnosis, this may be a viable option for you to help alleviate the financial burdens that often accompany this awful disease. We hope the resources provided here help you during this difficult time. ❤️

What Type of Policies are Eligible?

Not all life insurance policies can be converted into income. Whole life insurance policies and universal life insurance policies with cash value can usually be converted. Term life insurance policies typically cannot be converted, although there are some exceptions. Check with your insurance agent or company to find out for sure whether or not your policy can be converted. 

Pros and Cons 

Once you know that your policy can be converted, you’ll need to decide how you want to do it. There are several options available, each with its own set of pros and cons. 

Loans: You can take out a loan against the cash value of your life insurance policy. The benefit of this option is that you don’t have to give up ownership of your policy and you don’t have to pay taxes on the loan proceeds. The downside is that if you don’t repay the loan, your beneficiary will receive a smaller death benefit when you die. 

Accelerated Benefits: If you have a terminal illness, you may be able to access some of the death benefit from your life insurance policy early. This option allows you to receive a portion of the death benefit while you’re still alive, which can be used to cover medical expenses or other costs associated with your illness. The downside is that if you live longer than expected, there will be less money available for your beneficiaries when you die. 

Selling Your Policy (Viatical and Life Settlement Options)

You can sell your life insurance policy outright to another party. This option allows you to receive a lump sum of cash that can be used for any purpose. The downside is that once you sell the policy, you no longer have any life insurance coverage. 

Surrender for Cash: You can surrender your life insurance policy back to the insurer in exchange for a lump sum of cash. This option is similar to selling your policy outright, but it’s typically only available from certain types of insurers. The downside is that, like selling your policy outright, surrendering it for cash means giving up your life insurance coverage entirely.

Accelerated benefits option: This type of policy allows you to access a portion of the death benefit from your life insurance policy while you’re still alive. This can be used to cover medical expenses or other costs associated with your illness. The downside is that if you live longer than expected, there will be less money available for your beneficiaries when you die.

If you’re thinking about converting your life insurance policy to income, it’s a good idea to consult with an expert. This is a complex process and there are a lot of things to consider. An insurance agent or financial advisor can help you understand the options available to you and guide you through the conversion process. If you have a life insurance policy, it’s important to understand the different ways you can convert it into income. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has a publication that can help. Visit the NAIC website to download and review here.

FAQ

Q: Can any type of life insurance policy be converted into income?

A: Not all life insurance policies can be converted into income. Whole life insurance policies and universal life insurance policies with cash value can usually be converted. Term life insurance policies typically cannot be converted, although there are some exceptions.

Q: What are the different ways to convert a life insurance policy into income?

A: There are several options available, each with its own set of pros and cons. The most common methods include taking out a loan against the cash value of your policy, receiving an accelerated benefit payout, selling your policy outright, and surrendering your policy for cash.

Q: What are the benefits of converting a life insurance policy into income?

A: The main benefit is that you can receive a lump sum of cash that can be used for any purpose. This can be helpful if you need money to cover unexpected expenses or if you want to have extra money available for retirement.

Q: What are the drawbacks of converting a life insurance policy into income?

A: The main drawback is that you will no longer have life insurance coverage once you convert your policy. This means that if you die, your beneficiaries will not receive any death benefit. Another downside is that if you live longer than expected, there may be less money available for your beneficiaries when you die.

Q: Who can help me convert my life insurance policy into income?

A: An insurance agent or financial advisor can help you understand the options available to you and guide you through the conversion process. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has a publication that can help. Visit the NAIC website to download and review here.

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