One of my students just posted a fantastic article (her student note) “An Investment to Die for: From Life Insurance to Death Bonds, the Evolution and Legality of the Life Settlement Industry” to SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Profiting from death may strike one as morally offensive, but the life settlement industry has created just such an opportunity. A life settlement is a transaction wherein an insured assigns the ownership interest (contract rights to the death benefit) of a life insurance policy to an investor for cash consideration. In other words, it is the sale of an economic interest in the death of the insured. As such, the industry has created a secondary market for what was once thought to be an illiquid asset: life insurance. While current market volatility makes an investment in death attractive, the life settlement industry is not without pitfalls. This Comment explores the evolution and legality of the industry as well as considerations for an individual contemplating a life settlement transaction.