Term life insurance is designed to help protect your loved ones financially if you suddenly pass away. It provides them with a death benefit and typically expires after 10, 20, or 30 years. However, term life insurance differs from whole life insurance and other permanent policies in that you can’t cash it out. Let’s dive deeper into term life insurance and alternative options you might want to consider if cash value is important to you.
Since a term life insurance policy doesn’t come with a cash value component, it’s not possible to cash it out. This policy solely includes a death benefit that your beneficiaries may receive if you die before the end of the policy’s term. Permanent life insurance, such as universal and whole life policies, comes with a death benefit and a cash value account that you may can cash out while you’re still living.
You may have the option to sell a term life insurance policy to a third-party company. This process is known as a life insurance settlement. Selling your policy depends on several factors, such as the insurance company you chose, how much coverage you have, and whether your policy can be converted. Keep in mind that with a life insurance settlement, you'll sell your policy for less than the death benefit.1
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Help cover yourself and your family with affordable coverage from Aflac.
Here are the basic steps you can take to sell your term life insurance policy:2
1. Find a reputable broker: You’ll share information and documents regarding your policy with a broker. Then, the broker will let you know whether or not it’s feasible to sell it.
2. Make a sale: The broker will do their research and likely match you to a buyer who will take over your policy. You can expect the buyer to pay the price you agreed to and make the premium payments on your behalf. Then, once you pass away, the buyer will receive the death benefit payout.
Here are some common types of life insurance policies that can be cashed out:
Whole life insurance lasts for the rest of your life if you continue to pay your premiums. With this permanent life policy, part of your premium payments helps build cash value, which you may be able to take advantage of through a withdrawal, loan, or policy surrender.
Universal life insurance is a permanent policy that lets you change your premiums and death benefit over time to meet your needs. There’s also a cash value account, which earns interest and allows you to withdraw money from or borrow against it. Universal life policies typically cost less than whole life insurance.3
Variable universal life insurance involves a cash value component that you have some control over. With this type of permanent life insurance, you can choose from various investment options that are based on market performance, rather than a specific interest rate.
If you have a term life policy that you can’t cash out, consider these alternatives:4
Many life insurance companies understand that life happens and are willing to work with you if your premiums are no longer affordable. If your life insurance company allows it, you can lower your coverage level and enjoy lower premiums. This option is worth considering if you’re struggling to pay your premiums.
You might be able to convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent policy that builds cash value, such as whole life, universal life, or variable universal life insurance. Just keep in mind that your premium payments will increase.
You won’t receive any benefits if you cancel your term life insurance policy or let it lapse. But going this route can get rid of your premium payments if you need to make more room in your budget.
Permanent life insurance comes with a cash value component that you can access in several ways. While you can’t cash out a term life insurance policy, you may have other options if you want to change your coverage, such as lowering your premium payments or converting to a permanent policy.
Aflac offers term life insurance with premiums that fit most budgets. But if you prefer a life insurance policy with cash value, you can consider getting a whole life insurance plan. Chat with an agent to learn more about the life insurance policies we offer and get a quote!
Explore your life insurance options.
1 The Annuity Expert. Can You Cash Out a Term Life Insurance Policy? https://www.annuityexpertadvice.com/can-you-cash-out-term-life-insurance-policy/. Accessed April 18, 2023.
2 The Motley Fool - How to Sell a Life Insurance Policy. Updated February 21, 2023. https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/insurance/life/sell-life-insurance-policy/. Accessed April 10, 2023.
3 Forbes – Whole Life vs. Universal Life Insurance. Updated March 6, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/life-insurance/whole-life-vs-universal-life-insurance/. Accessed April 18, 2023.
4 Policygenius - Can You Sell Your Life Insurance Policy? Updated January 31, 2023. https://www.policygenius.com/life-insurance/can-you-sell-your-life-insurance-policy/. Accessed April 10, 2023.
Coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus. In New York, coverage is underwritten by American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.
In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Virginia, Policies: ICC1368100, ICC1368200, ICC1368300, ICC1368400. In Delaware, Policies A68100-A68400. In New York, NY68100-NY68400. In Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, & Virginia, Policies: ICC18B60C10, ICC18B60100, ICC18B60200, ICC18B60300, & ICC18B60400.
Aflac Final Expense insurance coverage is underwritten by Tier One Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Aflac Incorporated and is administered by Aetna Life Insurance Company.
The life insurance policy described herein contains an optional Accelerated Death Benefits Rider that is intended for favorable tax treatment under Section 101(g) of the Internal Revenue Code. Aflac does not give legal or tax advice. Please consult with a qualified legal, tax, and accounting advisor before engaging in any transaction. In AR, AZ, ID, OK, OR, PA, TX and VA: Policies ICC21-AFLLBL21 and ICC21-AFLRPL21; and Riders ICC21-AFLABR22, ICC21-AFLADB22, and ICC21-AFLCDR22.
Coverage may not be available in all states, including but not limited to DE, ID, NJ, NM, NY or VA. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on state and plan levels. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies and riders may also contain a waiting period. Refer to the exact policy and rider forms for benefit details, definitions, limitations and exclusions. For complete details, including availability and costs, please contact your local Aflac agent.
Content within this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting or medical advice regarding any specific situation. Aflac cannot anticipate all the facts that a particular employer will have to consider in their benefits decision-making process.
Aflac does not offer Universal or Variable Universal life insurance.
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