What is Stranger Originated Life Insurance?

What is Stranger Originated Life Insurance?

Stranger Originated Life Insurance is the sale of a life insurance policy to a 3rd party for cash. The new owner pays premiums & collects death benefits.


Imagine a knock on your door and a stranger offering you a deal to sell your life insurance policy for cash. But beware, this is the world of Stranger Originated Life Insurance, where policies are bought and sold like commodities. What started as a way to help the terminally ill has morphed into a lucrative business targeting healthy seniors, sparking ethical and legal debates. Let’s unravel the truth behind this controversial practice.

Definition of Stranger Originated Life Insurance

Life insurance provides peace of mind and financial security for loved ones after death, yet some investors are preying upon seniors and misusing life policies for personal gain this practice is known as Stranger Originated Life Insurance (STOLI), and many states outlaw its practice.

Under traditional policies, there must be an insurable interest between those purchasing life insurance policies, the individuals insured under them, and those receiving their death benefit. With STOLI arrangements, investors purchase life insurance policies on strangers for a lump-sum cash payment before becoming their beneficiaries upon their demise.

To do this, they may be encouraged to participate in longevity surveys and give their medical information over to an investor or group of investors who will then use it as part of an STOLI transaction and profit off it – in these scenarios, the senior receives only a small amount while their investors profit heavily – this practice has proven so controversial that some states have passed laws against it; New Hampshire recently passed one specifically protecting seniors against these STOLI transactions.

How Stranger Originated Life Insurance Works

Life insurance is a legal contract designed to financially safeguard an insured’s heirs or beneficiaries after death. While whole and term life policies may contain cash values, their primary function is providing funds for the family after an insured dies. Stranger-originated life policies violate this principle and create unethical situations that could compromise future insurability for future policies purchased.

These insurance transactions are defined as third-party investments that initiate policies without having any connection to the insured and then fund premiums and benefit from any death benefits; this arrangement differs from Life Settlement transactions which are legitimate financial arrangements.

Seniors are frequently approached by investors or agents offering to buy them life insurance policies which will later be transferred back to them in exchange for an upfront cash bonus. After some period has elapsed often after the contestability period has expired investors take over these policies in a scheme that violates insurable interest and constitutes fraud.

How Stranger Originated Life Insurance Works

Why It’s Controversial

Life insurance policies should protect the people who rely on an insured for financial support; purchasing an STOLI policy on an unknown is not acceptable and thus many states and regulators have a strong objection to such transactions.

Furthermore, this type of arrangement can often be used to bypass tax regulations. Furthermore, investing in such policies does not offer anyone near and dear to the insured the possibility of death benefits in case they pass away prematurely.

Life settlement companies and investor groups that profit from such arrangements often get the greatest advantage from these arrangements, as life settlement companies and investor groups resell life insurance policies on elderly individuals at a considerable profit. Sales agents promoting such policies may sometimes entice the elderly to participate through upfront payments or financial incentives offered. Investors ultimately hope the insured will die sooner rather than later to turn a profit from such transactions sometimes unaware they even had coverage until receiving death benefits paid by an investor group.

Legality and Regulations

Stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) arrangements differ significantly from traditional life policies by having third-party investors purchase policies on individuals they do not know with the hope of profiting from death benefits in the form of dividends or interest payments. While STOLI arrangements can provide immediate financial gains to insureds, there may also be ethical and legal concerns involved with them.

New Jersey insurance laws stipulate that an insurable interest must exist for someone purchasing life insurance on another. This means they must perceive some kind of direct benefit or harm from the death of the insured for instance, spouses may possess this interest while business owners can purchase coverage for key employees.

Investors or brokers typically approach people, often seniors, interested in purchasing life insurance policies and convince them to participate in a STOLI arrangement, whereby investors purchase and pay premiums before receiving death benefits at the time of the insured’s death. This practice has been likened to life settlements and remains subject to debate across many states.

What is Stranger Originated Life Insurance?What's SOLI Legality and Regulations

Potential Benefits and Risks

Life insurance policies on strangers often require some form of insurable interest between policyholder and insured, making the practice of STOLI unethical in many states and hence banned altogether.

STOLI policies, or structured term life insurance liability settlements, violate public policy against gambling and state insurable interest laws as well as anti-gambling statutes. Although some individuals use such arrangements for family benefit purposes, often times these investments are used speculatively and profit is realized after the death of the insured party.

STOLI investments can also be contentious due to fraud and scams. While some investors have found this type of investment lucrative, others were unable to receive the death benefits promised by their policy and thus lost money. Some investors were successful in finding genuine life insurance policies at discounted rates with help from an experienced broker while others used STOLI to invest in other asset classes – for instance buying equity shares in startup companies or purchasing property via auction.


STOLI is a complex practice that involves buying life insurance from senior citizens. It may offer quick cash. But it’s important to understand the risks and rules. Being informed helps you make wise choices. Avoiding problems is key. Life insurance can be tricky. But knowing the facts is important.

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What is the purpose of a stranger-originated life insurance?

Stranger-Originated Life Insurance aims to provide immediate cash to policyholders by selling their life insurance policies to third-party investors. This practice allows seniors to access funds, but it’s crucial to understand the implications. The main purpose is to offer financial gain, but it’s essential to approach it with caution.

What is investor-originated life insurance?

Investor-Originated Life Insurance is another term for Stranger-Originated Life Insurance. It refers to the practice of investors purchasing life insurance policies from seniors, typically to sell them for profit. IOLI/STOLI raises ethical and legal concerns, making it a controversial topic.

Is Stranger Originated Life Insurance illegal?

Stranger-Originated Life Insurance is considered illegal in most states due to concerns about fraud, elder abuse, and lack of transparency. While some states permit STOLI with regulations, many have banned it altogether. It’s essential to understand local laws and regulations before engaging in STOLI.

Which of the following describes a stranger-originated life insurance arrangement?

A stranger-originated life insurance arrangement involves a third-party investor purchasing a life insurance policy from a senior, typically to sell it for profit. This arrangement raises ethical and legal concerns, as it may exploit vulnerable individuals and violate insurance regulations.

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