Selling Your Structured Settlement: A Global Perspective

A Guide to everything you should know about selling.

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Chapter 6

Get a global perspective on selling structured settlements

The main focus of our website is the sales of structured settlement in the USA. However, given the global nature of the internet it seems prudent to provide some information about Selling structured settlements globally as well, so here we are.

In the United States, as we have noted previously, structured settlements make up a huge portion of personal injury and medical malpractice settlements – as much as 80%, maybe more; this equates to thousands of structured settlements a year. If you have a structured settlement in the USA to sell continue reading the Strategic Capital website.

In the UK, Australia and other areas of the world, however, this is not the case – structured settlements are simply not as big. Neither is Selling structured settlements. The UK has only hundreds of structured settlements per year, and Australia even fewer. And in these countries, just for clarity, they do call them either “structured settlements” or “periodic payments.”

The United Kingdom (UK) and Canada

In the UK structured settlements are only used as payment for the largest financial awards. Most cases are paid as a lump sum. But, it is important to note that the UK does provide the same tax protection for structured settlements as the United States does. That is that money received as part of a personal injury or medical malpractice structured settlement is not subject to income taxes. And, the number of such structures in the UK is growing, though at nowhere near the rate of growth as the United States. When structured settlements are used in the UK they are done much the same way as in the United States, most often through the purchase of an annuity. The above is the same for structured settlement payout in Canada, structured settlements, while tax free and providing long-term financial assistance, are rarely used.

Because structured settlements are such a small part of the equation in the UK and Canada there is not the big industry for selling settlement payments in those countries, as we have in the United States. In fact, searches online for “structured settlement UK” reveal, at a glance, few such companies in the UK, whereas such a search in the US reveals dozens of companies, easily. But these structured settlements, and thus sales, are becoming more common in the UK.

As one British law office writes on their website, “There are now companies in the market which will buy for a cash lump-sum the annuity stream agreed under a structured settlement.” The lawyers go on to caution that the initial decision to take a lump sum or structured settlement should be well thought out and be part of the negotiation process in any settlements.

Know the laws, and your options!

Laws vary from city to city, state to state and country to country. But remember, sometimes you may be bound by not only the law where you live but also the law in the place where the insurance company who holds your annuity is stationed.

Australia is even more Different

Australia has even fewer structured settlements than the UK. This is because according to Australian structured settlements law structured settlements are not tax free. Without that benefit few people choose to put off receiving their financial awards. However, some wonder if this might change given that studies have shown that Australians, similar to Americans, tend to go through all of their personal injury settlement money in less than six years. Thus, structured settlements may yet come to light as a way to save people from their own bad spending habits.

Selling around the World

If you are consider selling structured settlements that originated in the United States you can likely sell it to a factoring company located within the States. However, if you live outside the US, have a settlement from outside the U.S., or are receiving structured payments from an annuity from a company based outside the U.S. then you should contact a financial advisor, tax planner or attorney in your area to see which laws apply to you and your situation. However, if you live in Canada but the insurance company who owns or pays your annuity is in the States then we may be able to help – call Strategic Capital today!