What Is Cash Surrender Value?

Life insurance can be a useful tool, but there may be times when you wish you could waive those premiums and get some of your money back. Fortunately, some (but not all) insurance policies give you that option. Whole life insurance, variable life insurance, and universal life insurance all have cash value components, which means that if you cancel your policy, you may get some money back. term life insurance does not offer a cash value option.

Before surrendering your life insurance policy to gain access to its cash surrender value, it’s important to understand what life insurance cash surrender value is and how value is determined.

Reading: What is cash surrender value on life insurance

life insurance cash surrender value

cash surrender value is the amount of money your life insurance provider would give you if you drop or cancel your policy.

Cash value is a component of a whole life policy and other types of permanent life insurance. With this type of life insurance policy, your insurance provider takes a portion of your premiums and puts it in a cash value account, where the money can grow. Depending on the type of policy you have, that cash value component will move with market subaccounts, be based on internal company calculations, or grow at the current standard interest rate.

If you decide to give up your life insurance policy, you get the cash value of the investments made within it after subtracting surrender fees. As noted above, term life insurance policies do not have this component.

How is cash surrender value determined?

Cash surrender value can be determined in two ways for different types of life insurance policies. For variable life policies, the value of the investment fluctuates with the subaccounts in which it is invested. For a whole life policy, the value grows at a rate determined by the insurance company. With universal life policies, the value grows at the industry standard rate. the list below provides more detail on how cash surrender value is determined.

  • Account Length: The length of your account plays the biggest role in cash value, as it reflects how long you’ve been paying and how long you’ve had your investment. grow.
  • Amount Paid: A portion of your life insurance premiums constitutes the investment capital in the cash value component of your policy. as such, the more you pay, the higher your investment.
  • market performance: if your investment is tied to the market, then market performance becomes a dominant factor. When the market is doing well, your investment can do well too.
  • redemption fees and waiting period

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    Before taking your cash surrender value, you must first wait for the surrender period to elapse. The surrender period is a specific amount of time that must pass before you can surrender your policy and access its cash value. this waiting period is determined by the specific policy type and insurance company. it can be as low as a few years or as high as fifteen years. some companies will allow you to cancel a policy during this time, but usually for significantly higher rates and lower payments.

    Most companies charge surrender fees when you claim the cash surrender value of your life insurance policy. In general, these rates are more expensive for newer policies and decrease over time. surrender rates vary quite a bit between plans and depending on the age or duration of the policy in question. however, it is common to see ransom fees in the range of 10 percent to 35 percent.

    For example, imagine you have a twelve-year life insurance policy with a cash value of $7,000. you decide to redeem your policy for cash value. After your insurance company adjusts your 20 percent surrender fee, you receive $5,600 and the company collects $1,400 in fees. the amount you receive is the cash surrender value, while the initial amount is the base cash value.

    Keep in mind that you may have to pay taxes on a portion of the life insurance’s cash surrender value. If you’re not sure about the tax laws that govern your life insurance policy and its cash surrender value, contact your insurance company, agent, or accountant.

    Is it worth giving up your policy?

    Depending on your situation, it may be worth surrendering your policy. If you’re planning to switch to a different life insurance policy, especially if it’s with another company, then giving up your policy could make a lot of sense.

    Another potentially good time to cancel your policy is if you change jobs and your new position offers free or subsidized life insurance. Of course, you can also drop your policy if you have a vital need for immediate cash and no other options. this final motivation, however, should be a last resort. In such a situation, taking out a personal loan may make more sense. you can even borrow against your life insurance policy.

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    giving up your policy won’t always be a good choice. he likely won’t get back all he’s spent on premiums over the years. cash surrender value is not a refund. you are only returning your investment taking into account profit or loss.

    alternatives to the delivery of your policy

    Before giving up your life insurance policy and the financial protection it provides for your loved ones, you may want to explore other options. Here are some options to consider before you cancel your life insurance policy.

    withdraw cash value

    In many cases, you can make a direct withdrawal of your cash value. you may need to leave a specific amount in place, but you may be able to withdraw and use the rest. Keep in mind that the money you withdraw may be deducted from your death benefit, leaving your loved ones with less after your death.

    take a policy loan

    Another way to earn quick money through your life insurance policy is a policy loan. These are loans that use your life insurance policy as collateral. If all or part of the loan is outstanding at the time of your death, your life insurance provider will subtract the amount due from your death benefit.

    sell the policy

    If you’re determined to cancel your policy, you may be able to sell it. this can earn you more than the cash surrender value and, at the same time, take the plan off your hands. this transaction is called a life agreement.

    There are life insurance brokers, but it is also possible to contact the insurance companies directly. In some cases, your provider may sell your policy for you in exchange for fees. Once you’ve located a buyer, the life settlement process is relatively straightforward. a price is agreed upon and you complete a specialized application. If everything goes well, then change the rights of the policy for the agreed price.

    This process can take a couple of months or more. however, some life settlement companies will provide partial or full payments before the entire process is complete.

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    frequently asked questions

      • can I sell my life insurance policy?
        • Is the cash surrender value of life insurance taxable?
          • How much will I get if I surrender my life insurance policy?
            • when should you surrender your life insurance policy?