More than 25 years ago when we first started working in what would become known as the life insurance settlement industry, it was a brave new world. Most insurance agents didn't understand how the industry worked or how secondary market pricing was determined. Many agents and advisors didn't know if life settlements were legal while big insurance companies tried to regulate us out of business.
Well, it was and still is legal, but times have changed, particularly as it relates to how long it takes to determine the value of a policy.
Back in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, if an agent wanted to determine the value of a client's life insurance policy, it was a multi-week, and sometimes even a multi-month-long process. It frequently took four to six weeks just to understand what a policy might be worth. Legal authorizations and medical releases had to be signed by clients – remember this was before electronic medical records were widely used. And we had to pay fees and absorb costs just to verify coverage from an insurance company and get an illustration. It often took multiple attempts at outreach, including Fedexing and faxing information all around the county. This was just to figure out how much a policy was worth. Again, typically, four to six weeks.
Today, we have dramatically shortened the time it takes to get a life insurance policy appraised. In most situations, we can determine the value of a policy within a few days, and sometimes even within a few hours.
The first reason is technology. It’s much easier to analyze a policy and understand its value using technology and algorithms that we have created for this very purpose. We have taken our decades of experience and used it to create a proprietary system to determine value.
The second reason is that we have a much better understanding of the impact of medical history. While a final offer for a policy won’t be made until medical records are reviewed, we have created systems to analyze a person’s medical background electronically. We combine this with what they tell us confidentially, and incorporate that into an accurate appraisal.
The third reason is the streamlining of the industry. Years ago, there were far more “middlemen” involved in a life settlement transaction, and frankly, they each took a long time to make decisions and often impacted the value of offers. In the past, one had to potentially involve an agent, a life settlement broker, a provider company, and a medical evaluation company just to receive a ballpark price. The process was extremely cumbersome and very slow.
At PolicyAppraisal.com, we have dramatically overhauled this process. Using new technology, our industry experience with medical evaluations, and knowledge of the current market rates, we have created a system that accurately evaluates key data points and quickly offers an accurate life insurance policy appraisal.
In a timely manner, we can secure a life insurance policy appraisal value that will help agents and advisers offer reliable options to their clients.
The life insurance settlement has gone through many changes in recent years, but we believe we are at the cutting edge of the most critical part of the process – understanding the value of a life insurance policy for the benefit of agents and their clients.