Meaning of viatical settlement in English:

viatical settlement

Pronunciation /vʌɪˈatɪk(ə)l/


  • An arrangement whereby a person with a terminal illness sells their life insurance policy to a third party for less than its mature value, in order to benefit from the proceeds while alive.

    See also death futures

    ‘In a viatical settlement, a person with a terminal disease sells his or her life insurance policy at a discount from its face value in exchange for ready cash.’
    • ‘The tax treatment of a viatical settlement is markedly different.’
    • ‘While the ads for viatical settlement firms focused on impending death, those for drug companies focused on prolonging life - better living through science.’
    • ‘Developing expertise in long-term care insurance, medi-gap insurance, reverse mortgages and viatical settlements, along with their uses, can serve your older clients well.’
    • ‘Ms. Investor was looking for safety, with little risk, when she invested in these viatical settlements.’
    • ‘Thanks to Ontario's passing of the Red Tape Reduction Act, viatical settlements, otherwise known as ‘death futures,’ will be making Ontario's critically ill a hot investment for U.S. brokerage firms.’


1990s viatical from Latin viaticus ‘relating to a journey or departing’ + -al.