Technology Innovations Driving New Opportunities in Life Settlement Industry, According to Experts at LISA Conference

The life settlement marketplace is poised for new growth opportunities as industry participants better leverage emerging technologies to facilitate the sale of seniors’ life insurance policies, according to speakers at this week’s 23rd Annual Spring Life Settlement Conference.

ORLANDO, Fla., May 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The life settlement marketplace is poised for new growth opportunities as industry participants better leverage emerging technologies to facilitate the sale of seniors’ life insurance policies, according to speakers at this week’s 23rd Annual Spring Life Settlement Conference.

The conference was hosted by the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA), the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing participants in the life settlement Industry, and took place May 14-16, 2017, at the Omni Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas.

“A series of experts who addressed attendees at this year’s Spring Conference illustrated that there are a number of exciting opportunities in the works to take the life settlement industry to the next level,” said Darwin M. Bayston, CFA, president and chief executive officer of LISA. “By leveraging new technologies and data systems, we will see faster transactions conducted and more efficient underwriting methodologies. That is good news for seniors who no longer need or can afford their life insurance policies.”

life settlement is the sale by the owner of a life insurance policy for an immediate cash payment. The buyer of the policy assumes all future premiums payments and receives the death benefit upon the passing of the insured. On average, consumers receive four to seven times more from a life settlement than what they would have received from surrendering it back to the insurance company.

The conference opened with a panel discussing the vulnerability and risks that come along with any data breach in the life settlement industry, a poignant session in light of the recent worldwide ransomware attack. Attendees discussed the importance of responding to the “new normal” of cybersecurity threats and developing a sound cybersecurity program. The Panel also outlined the requirements established by the New York’s Cybersecurity Regulation, which makes life settlement providers, life settlement brokers and life agents subject to key compliance requirements in the event of a cybersecurity incident. In a timely follow-up session, David Souders addressed the coverage and pricing trends for data and privacy liability insurance.

In one of the featured panel sessions, “Innovations in Life Expectancies,” Lori Austin and Brian Lanzrath discussed new and innovative strategies to estimate life expectancies, including technology tools that will help professionals to arrive at more accurate projections – such as a new data-driven approach that relies on prescription and clinical history database searches. “Attendees were thrilled to have a major laboratory such as ExamOne discuss innovations in the space,” said Bayston.

Additional sessions discussed innovations in projecting Life Expectancies (LEs) and the impact of better LE data. A new study was also presented by Jiahua (Java) Xu, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, who traced the patterns of LE estimates in both secondary and tertiary markets by major medical underwriters and provided important results from her findings.

The conference also included a “Regulator Panel” session that addressed a variety of issues potentially impacting the life settlement and life insurance businesses. The session included a discussion about proposed consumer disclosure regulations that would require life insurance companies to notify consumers of all of their options prior to lapsing or surrendering a policy. One of the panelists, Korey Harvey (Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Health, Life & Annuity at the Louisiana Department of Insurance), observed that “it would probably only be fair” if insurers were required to provide some sort of notification, just as life settlement companies are required to inform consumers of alternatives to selling a policy.

Attendees also learned about practical strategies for addressing life settlement tax issues, such as taxation of transactions where the insured is terminally or chronically ill, possible tax consequences of retained death benefit transactions and long-term care funds, and the use of alternative structures to minimize the impact of taxation for life settlements funds.

The event also featured the annual election of members of the LISA Board of Directors and officers of the LISA Board. Three members were elected to new three-year terms on the board: Alan Buerger; John Dallas; and John McFarland. The newly elected LISA officers are:

  • Jim Maxson, Chair
  • Sheri Townsend, Vice Chair
  • Vince Granieri, Treasurer
  • John McFarland, Secretary

Other board members continuing to serve terms to which they were previously elected include Dan Young, John Welcom and Cynthia Poveda.

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