by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
If an insurance company is offering you a structured settlement that's not a bad thing. It's a very positive step in the process. It may mean that the defendant or its insurance company is attempting to address your needs. That's a hell of lot better than an offer that has no bearing on your needs. It is important to remember that settlements come about as the result of a negotiation. While some cases have similarities, the ultimate value and road to resolution of a lawsuit or claims takes a unique path for each case. Nobody expects you to take the first offer in the same way that your attorney has probably explained to you that your initial demand is likely to be countered with a lower number.
- A structured settlement is helpful to help quantify the cost of providing known expenses or replacement of future income,whether yours. or your parent or spouse.
- A structured settlement may help lower the cost of a Medicare aside by 20-30%
- A structured settlement can provide you with a baseline of stable income for a period of time or for the rest of your life. You can name a beneficiary too.
- A structured settlement in an employment case may help with tax planning and assure that you will walk away with more than you would if you factored in attorney fees and taxes on your settlement.
Just because an insurance company is offering a structured settlement as part of its offer or counter-offer of settlement, it doesn't mean you can't also have a settlement advisor of your own, and you should. Just because the house you want is listed by a broker that you do not know, it doesn't mean that you cannot have have the structured settlement version of a "buyer's broker" (even though technically the annuity is purchased by the defendant, it's insurer or an assignment company.
The introduction of the concept of a structured settlement early on instead of at the last minute gives you the time and opportunity to research and evaluate the concept and your needs. This may serve to reduce some of the pressure when the case eventually settles.