Life Insurance and Life Settlements: The Case for Health-Contingent Cash Surrender Values


ShanghaiTech SEM Working Paper No. 2018-011

Hanming Fang

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management

Edward Kung

University of Colifornia, Los Angeles


We investigate why life insurance policies in practice either do not have a cash surrender value (CSV), or have cash surrender values that are small and are not adjusted for health status. We show that including health-contingent CSVs to a life insurance contract causes a dynamic commitment problem, which makes it more costly up front for policyholders to purchase long term contracts (because some poor risks who would otherwise have lapsed can and will now capture the cash surrender value instead)...

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Keywords: Life insurance, cash surrender values, life settlement market, reclassification risk insurance.

Date Written: July 19th, 2018

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