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Ask the expert: Delay the sale or not?

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The question was: As a broker, I have heard that I should advise clients to hold off on selling policies because values may increase as the broader economy recovers. Is this a wise strategy?

The answer is: There is no crystal ball that can tell us where the market will be in the future. But this much we do know:

o Clients needs change over time and their insurance requirements shift accordingly.
o The value available to clients through the secondary market can be significantly greater than other alternatives – especially a surrender or lapse.
o Clients need to be informed of their options and should make educated decisions based on current facts, not projections of potential value.

In the end, a policy’s value is best evaluated within the context of client needs. Has the need for insurance changed? Do the clients need a different premium structure? Has there been a change in health?

By focusing on the client’s larger objectives, you can effectively evaluate the relative value of a secondary market transaction and determine whether now is the right time to sell a policy.

Michael Coben
Senior Vice President, National Distribution
Fort Washington, Pa.