Since we first told you about Return of Premium life insurance two years ago, interest in the product is up, premiums are down slightly and new features are available. ROP is simple: You pay more for the coverage than you would for a traditional term policy, but if you survive beyond the term of the policy, the entire amount of premiums you paid is refunded. For businesses with ROP, life insurance on key individuals is not just another expense, but rather money that can be recovered.
"Consumers like the concept of getting their money back," says Byron Udell, CEO of AccuQuote, a life insurance quoting and brokerage firm in Wheeling, Illinois. "Like everyone else, business owners don't like spending money on something that could yield them nothing. ROP gives them an alternative." And ROP products are improving, he adds. In addition to somewhat lower premiums, new products have enhanced cash surrender values. Earlier policies offered minimal refunds if the policy was canceled before the contract's end; new policies offer more back in that situation. In addition, Udell says, "Some products now allow access to the cash surrender values via policy loans."
For businesses needing key person coverage, insurance to collateralize loans or meet the requirements of buy/sell agreements, or life insurance for other reasons, ROP is an attractive alternative to traditional term or permanent life insurance.
Jacquelyn Lynn is a freelance business writer in Orlando, Florida.