Life Insurance – Survivorship Life

What is it?

Survivorship Life is a second-to-die life insurance policy. (USLIP)

Second-to-die coverage is for two persons (usually husband and wife). The death benefit of a second-to-die policy is not payable until both people covered by the policy die.

Second-to-die coverage is used primarily in estate planning. It protects children and other heirs from the burden of estate taxes, which often become due and payable nine months after the date of the second insured’s death.

Tax advisers and estate planners routinely recommend second-to-die coverage as a way to pay estate taxes and other costs associated with settling a large estate.

Interest sensitivity and cash value build-up

Premiums paid into your Survivorship Life policy will earn interest at a competitive rate, guaranteed never to be less than 3%. Your policy can develop available cash value, which can be used by you for other purposes, if needed.

Premium flexibility

Subject to the initial minimum premium requirements described in the policy, you can pay whatever premium you wish. Any premium you pay over and above the minimum can result in an even larger build-up of the policy’s cash value, or enable you to reduce future premiums.

Disability of premium waiver

This rider to your Survivorship Life policy can waive the policy’s monthly deduction in the event of disability. It can cover one or both insureds. (USLIPDW)

Coverage flexibility

The amount of protection in your Survivorship Life policy can be increased at any time, subject to the insurability of the two insureds. Additional premium may or may not be necessary. A reduction in the policy’s amount of coverage can occur, once the policy develops a positive surrender value.

Proceeds from a life insurance policy paid because of death of the insured are generally excludable from the beneficiary’s gross income for tax purposes.


Automatic Increase Rider. Your estate is likely to grow in value. When it does, your need for additional coverage will grow as well. By including the Automatic Increase Rider with your policy, your coverage can automatically increase every year and eventually grow to as much as twice the original amount of coverage. (Form USAIR)

Contemplation of Death Rider. Maybe your estate plans are not complete, but you’re in the process of finalizing them. This special optional rider enables you to get the necessary coverage in place now, including some important additional temporary protection. (Form USLIPCD)