Timeline of Life Settlements

1

1911

Grigsby v. Russell, 22 U.S. 149, established life insurance policies as private
property. This opened up the possibility for policies to be bought, sold, and
traded, just like any other high-value asset. This laid the early groundwork for life
settlement options.
2

1980s

Starting in the late 1980’s, life insurance options were largely seen in the form
of viatical options, which involves the sale of a policy by a person facing terminal
illness. At that time and into the early 90’s, most individuals who sold their policies
were facing either cancer or HIV/Aids. However, by the mid 90’s, the range for life
insurance options had broadened, and were being considered by individuals facing
nearly every type of illness.
3

2001

Increasing investor interest in life insurance options as an alternative
investment continued to grow. By 2001, what was once a small industry,
had started to attract the interest of major financial institutions.
4

2004

A group of financial and insurance professionals, who met in the mid 90’s in New
York’s financial district, came together to form what is now Abacus Life. They
wanted to ensure more individuals had access to life insurance options.
5

2009

The industry was not immune to the financial crash of 2008. Major banks and
financial institutions pulled back from any non-core investing, which caused the
demand for the option to lessen for a time.
6

2010

Funding confidence bounced back around 2010, which opened the door for many
life insurance buyers to expand operations.
7

2015

U.S. states began enacting safeguards, including disclosure requirements, and
improved regulations to ensure the safety and legitimacy of life insurance options.
8

2020

Abacus grows to 50 home-office employees, is authorized to purchase policies in
47 states, and offers complete back-office support in areas of APS retrieval, life
expectancy evaluation, pre-pricing, and producer licensing.