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What Is Collateral Assignment?

Collateral assignment of life insurance allows policyholders to use the death benefit as loan collateral. The policyholder appoints a lender as the primary beneficiary of the insurance policy in the event the borrower passes away unexpectedly before repaying the loan. This lets the lender cash in the life insurance policy and recover what is owed if the policyholder dies. 

Collateral assignment of life insurance guarantees funds to the business if the borrower defaults or dies. Many businesses accept life insurance as a form of collateral to protect against financial losses. If the policyholder dies before the loan is paid off, the lender receives the amount owed through the death benefit, and the remaining balance goes to the other listed beneficiaries. The collateral assignment is terminated as soon as the loan is paid in full. 

Apply for Life Insurance for Collateral Assignment

The process to apply for life insurance for collateral assignment purposes is the same as applying for personal life insurance. You can use either a term or whole life insurance policy for collateral assignment. Applicants undergo an application review, a medical exam and a four- to six-week underwriting process. Applicants can also buy a no-medical exam life insurance policy that guarantees coverage they can use for collateral assignment, but they are more expensive, and the death benefit amounts tap out around $25,000. 

Typically, whole life insurance policies are used for loan collateral because of their cash value. Although term insurance can help pay off a debt if the policyholder passes away, the account has no real value while the insured is alive. If the policyholder lapses on making payments on a whole or permanent life policy, they can just cash it in and collect the remaining cash value after paying off the loan and any other fees. 

How to Name Your Beneficiaries on a Collateral Assignment Life Insurance Policy

When you purchase your collateral assignment life insurance policy, you list your beneficiaries not the bank or lender you are borrowing from. After the policy becomes active, the lender or bank is added as the assignee on the collateral assignment life insurance documents. Once that step is complete, the collateral assignment overrides your beneficiaries’ rights to the death benefit payout. 

Collateral Assignment Life Insurance Policy Owner

The policyholder is the owner of the life insurance plan and is responsible for the monthly or annual premiums. Some lenders may require policyholders to submit proof of premium payments to ensure the account is active and in good standing. If the policy lapses or is canceled before the debt is paid off, the lender could consider that a violation of your financial agreement. 

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