James T. Nyeste Attorney at Law CoverageLaw.com
On the surface, life insurance policies seem to be one of the simplest policies available to the general public. These policies often carry low monthly premiums in contrast to what may seem to be a large payout in the event of the policyholder's death. These policies are often purchased by an individual as means to protect their family in the event of their death, where the policy payout is used to make up for a loss of income in a household or partnership.
However, life insurance policies can benefit individuals in ways they may not expect. Illinois law provides for the payout of benefits for individuals who are chronically or terminally ill, or even in the event that they become permanently disabled. It is important that policyholders understand the details of their policy, as well all of the benefits they may be entitled to. Consulting with a Chicago insurance law attorney may be the best way for individuals to get the advice they need and the benefits they are entitled to.
The loss of income to a family or partnership can happen before a death occurs, such as when an individual experiences long term disability as the direct result of a chronic or terminal illness. This often creates a great financial burden, where many families could benefit from receiving an early payout to cover medical bills, health care costs and other expenditures. The good news is that many beneficiaries and policyholders may not have to wait to collect their benefits: If a policyholder is deemed eligible to collect life insurance benefits before their death, there are two ways this can be accomplished – viatical settlements and accelerated death benefits.
Viatical settlements allow an individual to sell their life insurance policy to another person, company, or entity. The new policy owner, also known as a viatical settlement provider, then pays out an agreed upon portion of the entire policy to the original policyholder and becomes responsible for payment of the monthly premiums to the insurance company throughout the remaining life of the policy. In return for paying out an early settlement and making monthly premium payments, the viatical settlement provider becomes entitled to the full amount of the life insurance benefit when paid in the future by the insurance company.
Accelerated death benefits are very similar to viatical settlements, with the exception that the insurance company pays the policyholder directly, eliminating the involvement of a third party. Accelerated death benefits are also paid as a percentage of the original benefit amount.
While the idea of collecting life insurance benefits early may seem to be the best option, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration before making such a serious decision. Individuals should make every effort to ensure that they are getting the best deal possible and hiring a Chicago insurance law attorney to review the original policy, negotiate an early payout, and provide advice and guidance may make the difference between merely surviving and financially thriving.
An experienced Chicago insurance law attorney will help clients take every factor into consideration before making a decision. There are many different rules, regulations, and consequences that must be weighed before signing an agreement, such as the effect on eligibility for services such as Medicaid and Social Security. In addition to determining whether or not a settlement could have unforeseen financial implications, a Chicago insurance law attorney can also provide information regarding eligibility and reputable settlement providers, as well as other options that may be considered.