Why are seniors value more dead than alive?

LEONARD GOODMAN

Unique to Postmedia

If you are a Canadian senior, your everyday living coverage coverage could be value a good deal more income than you feel — while you are alive. If only provincial governments and everyday living coverage organizations would let you promote it for its honest market place value.

Recently, a 74-calendar year-aged good friend of mine questioned me if he could promote his time period everyday living coverage coverage. He understood anyone in the United States who had gained more than $100,000 for a time period coverage she no for a longer period wanted.

She explained to him she had gained “a everyday living settlement.” He was in a very similar scenario, needing the money more than he wanted the coverage, other than he lived in Canada. I explained to him the regrettable fact: “It can not be carried out in most Canadian provinces.”

My good friend is one particular of hundreds of thousands of Canadian seniors who own everyday living coverage but do not have entry to an open and free of charge market place in which they can promote their everyday living coverage for honest market place value. Several international locations around the globe present effectively-regulated, secondary markets for such transactions, but not below. In the United States alone, more than $7 million a day is paid out to people today by means of everyday living settlements.

A everyday living settlement pertains to the sale of an unneeded, in power everyday living coverage coverage for an total that is more than the policy’s money surrender value but significantly less than its dying benefit.

Here’s the trouble. Even though your coverage is an asset you own — like your home, and you have paid out into it for a long time — you are prevented from accessing the honest market place value for it since of a discriminatory exercise that is ignored by a lot of provincial governments and perpetuated by everyday living coverage organizations.

Existence settlements are a globally exercise and nonetheless, 6-of-10 provinces have archaic restrictions that avert the institution of a effectively-regulated secondary market place for the obtaining and providing of everyday living coverage policies. For a long time, Canadian everyday living insurers have lobbied from shifting these restrictions, and are combating to consist of restrictions in the other 4 provinces. They claim a litany of invalid good reasons — excuses — aimed at safeguarding their self-interests, holding billions of bucks in their pockets.

Most people today do not know that more than 80 for each cent of everyday living policies are cancelled or lapse prior to a claim is at any time built, which signifies insurers in no way shell out the total dying-benefit. Preserving them billions. Existence settlements would modify this, producing billions of bucks out there to seniors — income rightfully theirs — alternatively than that income heading into coverage organization coffers.

The major trouble is that seniors are not aware of this unfair and egregious exercise. And coverage organizations want to maintain it that way. But if we can get provincial governments to realize the rights of seniors and modify the restrictions, it will appreciably aid hundreds of thousands of seniors who are struggling financially in retirement.

Most legislators do not know a lot about everyday living settlements. And Canadian coverage brokers and financial planners both do not know or can not appropriately advise their clients. Most are dependent on coverage organizations as a supply of earnings and there is usually a menace the coverage provider may terminate their licence hence, they do not advocate everyday living settlements as a valid choice for seniors.

How can governments allow for this insidious exercise to continue on? How can we suitable this improper?

We all know the aged maxim: “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.”

Governments only hear when our voices are sturdy and persistent. Otherwise, they hear to exclusive curiosity teams and lobbyists who shell out for entry.

Discuss to your MPP or MLA. If you’re a member of Probus or CARP, talk to your affiliation. And make everyday living settlements a ballot box challenge in the following election. Try to remember, it’s your income.

— Leonard H. Goodman is founder and chair of the Existence Insurance policies Settlement Association of Canada (LISAC) and President of Initially Money Group in Toronto.

 

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