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Secondary Life Broker Sees Market Shift

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In-force life insurance policies are still selling, but a broker says the buyers are choosier.

Settlements for Life L.L.C., Memphis, Tenn., a broker, still can maintain relationships with entities that buy life insurance policies, but the market is feeling the effects of the global economic meltdown, according to Settlements for Life President Daniel Katz.

“Agents have to understand that policies are not going to sell for the price they once were back in the beginning of ’08,” Katz says. “It is our responsibility to make sure every policy is shopped thoroughly and to all buyers. Our agents should know what to expect so they can advise their clients in the right direction.”

The financial crisis is not the only factor increasing the value of shopping a policy through a good broker, Katz says.

A recent lengthening of the life expectancy assumptions built into the mortality tables used in life settlement transactions has led to a tightening of the market, Katz says.

Some buyers will not buy a policy that is less than 30 to 36 months old, Katz adds.