What Is a Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

A life insurance policy is assigned as collateral for a loan, and the primary beneficiary of a death benefit is designated as the lender. If the borrower fails to repay his or her debt, the lender may redeem the life insurance policy and recoup what wasn’t paid.

Businesses are willing to accept life insurance as collateral since it provides a guarantee of money if the borrower dies or defaults. The lender receives the amount owed through the death benefit, and any outstanding balance is then transferred to other specified beneficiaries, in the case of the borrower’s death before repayment.

The policy must be owned by the borrower and not necessarily the insured, and the terms of the loan must remain in force throughout the life of the loan. A collateral assignment may be used with any sort of life insurance policy if it is approved by the insurance company.

Permanent life insurance with a cash value allows the lender access to the cash value, which may be used as loan payment if the borrower defaults. Because term life policies do not accumulate money value and have a policy duration that is insufficient to accommodate the loan, many lenders refuse to accept them as security.

The owner of the insurance policy’s access to the cash value may be restricted in order to safeguard the collateral. If the loan is paid off before the borrower dies, the assignment is annulled, and the lender no longer receives a death benefit as a beneficiary. Prior notification of a policy’s collateral assignment is required by insurers.

Related Reading: Credit Life Insurance

Why use life insurance as collateral?

There are several good reasons to use life insurance as collateral for a loan. Here are a few examples:

  • It might be cheap. Life insurance costs vary depending on various factors, including your age, health, policy type, and the coverage amount. However, life insurance premiums may be lower than you would pay for an unsecured loan with higher interest rates.
  • Your belongings are more secure. You may be able to obtain a secured loan without putting your house or automobile at risk if you use life insurance as collateral. If you die before the debt is paid off, the lender will utilize your life insurance payout to do so.
  • Lenders may be more inclined to provide financing if you have life insurance. Many lenders consider life insurance to be a sensible option for collateral since they are confident that they will be able to repay your loan should you die.

There are some situations when the collateral assignment of life insurance is not the best option. For example, some people can’t get affordable life insurance because they’re old or sick. It might also be challenging to use an existing life insurance policy as collateral for a loan; a lender may want you to take out new life insurance just for this reason.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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