Revisiting the Buying and Selling of Death Benefits

Revisiting the Buying and Selling of Death Benefits

A few years ago we published an article, Gambling on Death: Trends in the Buying and Selling of Death Benefits. This issue of selling life insurance policies, often referred to as “life settlements” has recently resurfaced. It has been “big business,” yet now the market is collapsing. One reason, according to Insurance As Death Roulette on, is that “everyone who participated in this morally repulsive game is suing everyone else.”

Even though this business is collapsing, people should be aware of life settlements, what they are, what’s happened in the market and take precautions to avoid participating in any such arrangements, either as an insured person or an investor.

For more information on this topic, see our Gambling on Death article, which reviews:

  • The history of how the “life settlements” practice began;
  • The practice of selling a death benefit;
  • The lack of state regulation on life settlements; and
  • A number of serious concerns with investor driven purchases of life insurance policies.

Also see Insurance as Death Roulette on

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.

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