The life settlement industry is expected to benefit from favorable demographic trends and technology innovations that will make it easier for consumers to sell their life insurance policies, according to featured speakers today at The Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA)’s Eighth Annual Life Settlement Institutional Investor Conference.
The event, which is the leading professional gathering of institutional investors in the life settlement asset class, was held at The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park in New York City.
“Life settlements are a core part of financial planning strategies today because they provide tremendous value for appropriate consumers,” said Colin Devine, a veteran of the life insurance industry and consultant to both the insurance and investment management sectors. “Given our demographic trends, this business is only going to get better in the years ahead.”
In his opening keynote address, Devine observed that medical costs are a leading cause of personal bankruptcies, forcing seniors to evaluate all possible assets that may provide them with liquidity to deal with rising health care bills. “Life settlements are a very legitimate way to provide value to consumers who are struggling with older age health care costs,” said Devine.
Devine also set the stage for additional discussion throughout the day regarding significant technological innovations underway in the industry that have the potential to fundamentally change the way life settlement transactions are consummated. He pointed out that “InsurTech” is both a disruptor and an enabler in the life settlement space because it allows underwriters to arrive at a decision on the value of a policy much faster, so consumers who wish to sell their life insurance policy may soon be able to do so in a matter of weeks, not months.
This topic was further explored by S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D., professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and chief scientist at Lapetus Solutions. Dr. Olshansky addressed some of the most recent innovations in predictive algorithms for estimating life expectancy and the quest for improved underwriting throughout the industry.
“The life settlement process simply takes too much time, primarily because of a very slow underwriting process historically used in the industry,” said Dr. Olshansky. “The good news is that the future of underwriting is here, or at least is very close. We’re now able to use wearable sensors to monitor vital statistics, access blood information without a needle and blood draw, evaluate bio markers and even do automated assessments of an individual’s profile photograph — these innovations allow us to obtain a much faster life expectancy and therefore a more efficient and more accurate baseline for underwriting.”
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