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Old 10-02-2016, 09:39 PM
42 posts, read 22,701 times
Reputation: 66


I haven't paid much attention to my auto/life insurance policy since i've driven the same car since 2008, all i know is the insurance $110 debit comes out of my checking account at the end of every month. Only very recently did i finally set up my "online access" and took a peek in there.

Everything looked about right (numbers matched my bank statements), but then i peeked under the "life insurance" tab and noticed some strange "values" i was previously unaware of. The two which caught my attention were these:

"Total account value"
"Surrender charge"

I noticed the former has a listed "value" of about $1300. The surrender charge is listed at a little over $50.

Basically my question is this: is the $1300 "my" money or accessible in any way? Or does it belong to the insurance company?

Reason i ask is i am selling my car soon and, if this money is indeed somehow "my money", i was thinking it wouldn't hurt to somehow claim it and get it into my rather dry wallet

Any clarification on this? Thanks for any advice regarding this situation.
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Old 10-03-2016, 01:18 AM
4,862 posts, read 7,977,414 times
Reputation: 5769
Just call the company..

Surrender Charge Definition | Investopedia
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:16 AM
107,007 posts, read 109,295,440 times
Reputation: 80405
You have to find out. Some maintain a sub account with guaranteed growth whichis not yours to take.
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:21 AM
1,347 posts, read 949,629 times
Reputation: 3958
First: find your policy and read it. That will answer your question definitively.

If you can find the terminology "cash value" or "cash surrender value" in the policy, that is what you can surrender the policy for. It is typically the total account value minus loan balance (if you have ever taken a loan against the policy) minus surrender charge.

Note that if the policy is surrendered, all coverage terminates. There may be a reinstatement provision (again, find your policy and read it - and if you can't find it, call the company and request a duplicate copy), but if not then you are starting all over again in acquiring life insurance, should you decide you need it. Reinstatement generally requires payment of any premiums that would have been paid if the policy had stayed inforce, plus interest, and may or may not require going through underwriting again.

It may also be possible to take a loan against the policy which will keep the policy inforce, but it will be subtracted from the face amount should you die and a death benefit is payable. Also, if the loan balance becomes too large (exceeds the account value, or some other criteria), the policy will terminate.
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