Although they took a hit from the recession and from factors endemic to a relatively young product, life settlements are on their way back up, according to stories from NU Online News Service. As buyers become more educated and life expectancies reflect more accurately how long policyholders may live, “quality paper” is on the rise, said Mike Liebowitz, president and chief executive officer of Invescor Ltd., Farmington Hills, Mchigan. Regulation has played its part in helping to stabilize the industry, he added.

But at the recent Life Settlement Summit, sponsored by National Underwriter and other Summit Business Media publications, Peter Mazonas, chief executive officer of Life Settlement Financial LLC, San Rafael, California, said that “consistent underwriting practices, including life expectancy tables[,]” were necessary to further develop the industry. He also cited regulation in an effort to avoid stranger-originated life insurance, or STOLI, as causing some originators of settlements to try to “ dump their portfolios.”

Indicative of those regulations, California has issued new provisions for agents who want to sell life settlements within the state. A 15-hour life settlement broker course has been added to requirements for those who have been life agents for less than a year or who do not hold a life agent license.