The most common way that life insurance policy protects you and your loved ones is by providing financial support to your family in the event of your untimely death.
In some situations, life insurance serves to replace lost income with death benefits, in others, life insurance can be used to pay off remaining debts and death expenses.
Life insurance can also be used as a very helpful tool in order to obtain financing for a loan.
This process of using a life insurance policy to take out a loan is called “collateral assignment” of life insurance.
Before we discuss everything you need to know about the collateral assignment of life insurance, let’s take a quick peek at what we will be covering in this article:
What you will learn in this article (click to go to section):
- What is Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?
- How Does Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance Work?
- Can I Apply for Multiple Loans With Life Insurance as Collateral?
- How to Apply for Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance
- Requirements, Limitations, and Restrictions
- What Happens in the Event of Default or Death?
- What if I Pay Off my Loan While Using Life Insurance as Collateral?
- Who Qualifies for Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?
- Choosing a Beneficiary for Your Policy
- Best Life Insurance Companies for Collateral Assignment
- Finding a Life Insurance Policy to Use for Collateral Assignment
What is a Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance?
The collateral assignment of life insurance is a legal way for you to assign your life insurance policy as a form of collateral for a loan to banks.
With this, you can be far more likely to receive financing for loans you may not otherwise be able to secure because the bank knows they will get their money back no matter what.
How Does Collateral Assignment of Life Insurance Work?
The way collateral assignment of life insurance works is like this:
- You have a life insurance policy that is in your name. This coverage is paid for by you just like any regular life insurance policy.
- Once you have this coverage, you must apply for a collateral assignment of life insurance with both your life insurance company and the bank. (Below we describe how to apply for a collateral assignment of life insurance in detail.)
- Once the life insurance company clears you to use the policy as collateral for the loan, you must then specify to your lender that this is what you intend to do.
- From there, you simply wait for the bank to get back to you on your application, and if they approve, you have successfully used life insurance as collateral assignment on a loan from the bank!
Can I Apply For Multiple Loans With Life Insurance As Collateral?
You can apply to as many loans as you please using your life insurance policy as collateral, as long as the policy has a large enough death benefit to cover the total amount owed on the loans you are applying for.
How to Apply For Collateral Assignment Of Life Insurance
Applying Through Your Bank
There are some lenders who will consider using your existing life insurance policy for collateral assignment if you request it, but others might require you to take out a brand new policy specific for that purpose.
In either case, using life insurance for collateral assignment when applying for loans is a fairly common practice that almost every life insurance company and the bank is equipped to handle.
You start off the application for assignment by securing the loan with the bank in question. This is where you will discover the limitations and regulations the bank has regarding the collateral assignment of life insurance. Each lender has different policies.
Applying Through Your Insurer
Once you have found the right loan, you must fill out the collateral assignment form. Your insurer will be able to provide you with this form easily.
The form has to be filled out by every party involved, including yourself, the lender, and the insurance company. You can sign the forms at the time of your loan application or you can sign them after your policy has been issued.
If you are taking out a brand new life insurance policy, you are better off signing all of the documents for this at the beginning of the application. The time frame to request a collateral assignment and be accepted for it ranges between 24 hours and 48 hours.
Some banks might require that you notarize the form, which can add some time to the application and acceptance process.
Collateral Assignment Of Life Insurance Requirements, Limitations, & Restrictions
When it comes to applying for and using life insurance as collateral assignment for a loan, there are a few common requirements to keep in mind to make sure that you get the most out of your policy, and also to make sure that you can be accepted quickly and easily.
1. Beneficiary and Policyowner Requirements
Policyowners of a life insurance policy that qualifies for collateral assignment must be the owner of the policy. They do not necessarily need to be the insured or the beneficiary, but they must be the owner of the policy.
The policy owner must maintain payment of all premiums in order for this policy to remain in place as collateral.
2. Types of Life insurance policies that qualify for collateral assignment
Any type of life insurance policy is capable of being used as collateral assignment for loans, as long as the company that issues it does not have any rules against it being used as such.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance policies used as a collateral assignment for loans must have terms longer than the length of the loan. Additionally, if the loan is paid off prior to the expiration of the policy, the policy is no longer payable to the bank.
Be sure to notify your insurer in the event that you pay off a loan which used your life insurance policy as the collateral assignment. You can then assign a new beneficiary to the life insurance policy with their help.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance policies can also be used as collateral assignment for loans from banks. In this case, any cash value accumulated by the policy is only accessible by the bank in order to maintain collateral in the case of a loan default.
3. Lender Rights
If you default on your loan, the bank reserves all rights to utilize your life insurance policy’s death benefit as a form of repayment for your defaulted payments.
On top of this, they reserve the right to take from your cash value on permanent life insurance policies, as mentioned above.
What Happens If You Die Or Default With Your Life Insurance Policy Being Used As Collateral Assignment?
A collateral assignment is a form of limited transfer, unlike an absolute assignment which gives over all of your policy with no chance of reversing it.
If you were to pass away before your loan is repaid the lender will receive whatever amount is still owed from your death benefit. The remaining balance will be given to your beneficiaries.
As long as you pay your premiums on time and your policy is current you can use this to secure any type of loan with any bank that will accept it.
The same goes for defaulting on your loan. If you default, the bank only has access to the amount of death benefit that is owed to them. The rest is secure and still under your policy, to be paid out to beneficiaries in the event of your death.
What If I Pay Off My Loan While Using My Life Insurance Policy As Collateral?
If you pay off the loan entirely before you pass away, or before the end of your policy, then the lender is no longer entitled to any of your death benefit and the full death benefit continues into the hands of your beneficiary.
At this point with permanent life insurance policies, your access to cash value is reinstated as well.
Who Qualifies For Collateral Assignment Of Life Insurance?
Any policyholder that has a permanent or term life insurance policy can qualify for collateral assignment.
Not every company allows collateral assignment of life insurance policies, and therefore it is best that you speak with your life insurance provider to see what their limits are with regard to Collateral Assignment.
However, most life insurance companies are equipped to handle this easily.
Many life insurance providers do not care how you use the policy, as long as it is in a legal fashion, and they will likely sign your application for collateral assignment quickly and with minimal friction.
Choosing A Beneficiary For Your Life Insurance Policy With Collateral Assignment
If you are attempting a collateral assignment, your bank might ask you to assign them as the beneficiary.
DO NOT ASSIGN YOUR BANK AS THE BENEFICIARY OF YOUR LIFE INSURANCE POLICY!
If you die and you only paid off half of your loan and you made the bank your beneficiary, the bank will receive the remaining balance of your entire death benefit.
If you were to take out a $100,000 loan and you assigned the bank as your beneficiary they would receive the entire amount even if the amount owed to the bank at the time of your passing was only $20,000.
You do not want this to happen.
Banks only require a collateral assignment and that means they are only entitled to the amount owed on your loan, an amount which theoretically decreases with time.
If you have no beneficiaries listed, the remaining amount will theoretically go to your estate. But there may not be anyone around to enforce this.
You can choose whomever you please as your beneficiary on your life insurance policy, as long as it is not yourself. Just be sure the beneficiary you choose is not your bank, regardless of what they tell you.
Best Life Insurance Companies For Collateral Assignment Of Life Insurance
SBLI Life Insurance is also known as Mutual insurance company and they provide affordable policies to smokers and non-smokers. They were founded in 1907 and since they are a mutual company they are owned by the policyholders and not by the stockholders.
As such their primary objective is to show allegiance to the clients rather than to their investors. This particular company is popular because they help customers blend different term life insurance policies with whole life insurance policies.
They have an A, excellent, rating from A.M. Best. They have an A+ rating from the BBB. Their financial history has remained level and strong since their inception.
Sagicor is rated A- by A.M. Best with a financial rating of A-. They have been in business for over 60 years offering products across 45 states. Without undergoing a medical exam you can still qualify for coverage up to $500,000.
If you don’t want to answer any medical questions you can still get covered under $250,000 with this particular company.
They are not favorable toward individuals with diabetes or people who want a 30-year term plan but they are perfectly suited for individuals who are looking for whole life insurance policies that offer collateral assignment options.
North American Company
The North American company has a solid financial strength rating. They are given a superior rating which is the second highest rating you can get, from A.M. Best.
They also have an A+ from the S&P rating and Fitch rating. This company is also privately owned so they are able to invest in Secure assets rather than things like government bonds.
North American has an array of whole life insurance policies that are offered it to anyone 85 or younger and they have favorable terms for collateral assignment options.
Banner Life Insurance Company Offers an array of inexpensive universal life insurance products. However, they do not have a whole life insurance policy.
They are licensed to conduct business in every state but New York. If you are a New York resident you can still get coverage but you have to go through William Penn. They have a financial strength rating of excellent.
Finding A Life Insurance Policy To Use For Collateral Assignment
If you are looking for life insurance coverage which you can also use as collateral on a loan, then you want to take some time to make sure that you understand the stipulations of your bank and insurance provider.
On top of this, you want to be sure that the policy you choose offers great rates and is offered by a company with a history of paying out claims on time and when needed.
The easiest way to find the best life insurance coverage to use for collateral assignment is to speak with an independent life insurance agent who can help you compare life insurance policies and rates from dozens of the best life insurance companies on the market.
We are very experienced in this area and have the knowledge necessary about life insurance providers and collateral assignment with banks to ensure that you find the best coverage for your situation.
Give us a call today to speak with a professional, or get started online using our quoting tool for quick and easy life insurance quotes.