Life insurance can be a valuable asset, but there may be times when you wish you could waive the premiums and get some of your money back. Fortunately, some (but not all) insurance policies give you that option. Whole life insurance, variable life insurance, and universal life insurance all have cash value components, which means you could get some money back if you surrender your policy. There is no cash value option with term life insurance. Get access to the cash surrender value of your life insurance policy before you surrender it. It is critical to understand what the cash surrender value of life insurance is and how to calculate it. We will look at the cash surrender value of life insurance on the balance sheet and see if it is taxable.

Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance Policy

The cash surrender value is the amount of money your life insurance provider would give you if you surrendered or canceled your policy.

A whole life policy and other types of permanent life insurance include cash value. With these types of policies, your insurance provider puts a portion of your premiums into a cash value account, where the money can grow. That cash value component will move with market subaccounts, rely on internal company calculations, or grow at the current standard interest rate, depending on the type of policy you have.

If you decide to surrender your life insurance policy, you will receive the cash value of the investments made within it, less any surrender fees. Term life insurance policies, as previously stated, do not include this component.

How the Cash Surrender Value in Life Insurance Policy Works

When you cancel a whole life insurance policy before you die, you receive a cash surrender value. The cash surrender value of a life insurance policy is the amount of money you receive if you stop paying for it. Depending on how old the policy is, this value may be less than the actual cash value of the policy.

When you cash in your policy during the early years, life insurance companies can deduct fees. The cash value is available to you for the rest of your life. The death benefit will be reduced if you cash in a portion of the policy.

You may have to pay charges when you partially or fully surrender your life insurance policy, depending on its age. This entails canceling the policy and receiving the money you paid for it. You must pay taxes on the money, but there may be an additional penalty if you surrender the policy before reaching a certain age.

What Factors Influence Cash Surrender Value?

The cash surrender value of a life insurance policy can be calculated in a variety of ways depending on the type of policy. The value of the investment fluctuates with the sub-accounts in which it is invested in variable life policies. Furthermore, the value of a whole-life policy grows at a rate determined by the insurance company. The value of universal life policies grows at the industry standard rate. The following list goes into greater detail about how cash surrender value is calculated.

  • Account duration: The duration of your account is the most important factor in cash value because it reflects both how long you have been paying into it and how long your investment has had to grow.
  • Amount paid: A portion of your life insurance premiums is used to fund the investment capital in your policy’s cash value component. As a result, the more you pay, the greater your investment.
  • Market performance: If your investment is linked to the market, market performance takes precedence. When the market performs well, your investment may perform well as well.

How to Calculate Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance

How to calculate the cash surrender value of life insurance differs from policy to policy and is specified in the policy document. A simple equation, on the other hand, can be as follows:

Surrender Charges – Enhanced Accumulated Value = Cash Surrender Value

  • The total accumulated invested amount, including periodic interest, can be considered enhanced value.
  • Surrender fees may be expressed as a percentage and may vary depending on the age of the policy.


Let’s look at an example of how to calculate the cash surrender value of life insurance.

Assume Mr. X has a 30-year policy with $10,000 annual premiums and a $1 million death benefit if he dies prematurely. Otherwise, after 30 years, he will receive the total accumulated amount plus a 10% bonus on the corpus. The insurance company has spent $5,000 to implement this policy. The policy also specifies a ten-year surrender period during which a surrender charge of 1% on unpaid premiums will be charged, and none if surrendered after ten years. The rate of return on the premium amount is 5%.

Is a Life Insurance Payout Calculator Available?

There are numerous calculators available online to calculate you in understanding and calculate the surrender value of a life insurance policy, but few assist you in understanding the cash value you would receive if you surrender the policy. This is no doubt due in part to the fact that the surrender value of the policy is frequently so low in comparison to the benefit! A life insurance policy’s average surrender value is $460 for every $100,000 in face value.

We offer a life insurance settlement calculator to provide our clients with a clear, immediate picture of the maximum possible value they could receive from selling a life insurance policy in a settlement. Qualifying for a life settlement is determined by age, length of policy ownership, annual premium paid, benefit value, and other factors. However, if you are approved, a life settlement can provide a far greater return on your investment than any surrender value.

Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance In Balance Sheet

Numerous accounting transactions and treatments are governed by tax rules and standards. Accounting standards recognize the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy as an asset on the balance sheet because it represents an asset you can control.

On the other hand, a future death benefit that the company may or may not get is an economic benefit that the company has no say over. So, the discounted present value of a death benefit should not be on a company’s balance sheet.

Furthermore, the company must comprehend the type of life insurance policy. In general, if the life insurance policy has a cash surrender value, that value should be shown on the balance sheet.

Life insurance is listed as a current asset on the balance sheet.

Yes, if there is a cash surrender value.

Although receipt is contingent on the contract remaining in force and the death of the life insured, the death benefit proceeds from term insurance could be considered a future economic benefit. A life insurance policy’s cash surrender value is a future economic benefit because it is the amount the company can receive if the policy is surrendered.

As a result, on the corporate balance sheet, the cash surrender value of the life insurance contract is recorded as an asset. Every year, the cash surrender value insurance changes, causing the asset on the balance sheet to change. The difference between the premiums paid for the year and the increase in the cash surrender value is recorded on the income statement as net insurance expense. In later years of the policy, the increase in cash surrender value may exceed the annual premiums paid.

Is the Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance Taxable

Will the cash surrender value of your life insurance be taxable?

Possibly. It is determined by the amount withdrawn. You won’t have to pay taxes if you withdraw only up to the amount you’ve paid in premiums so far. However, if you withdraw any dividends or interest earned, you will be required to pay interest on that amount. However, there are alternatives. Consider using the cash value in other ways if you have numerous dividends that will result in a significant tax liability.

For example, if you use the cash value as collateral on a loan, you get the money you need but don’t have to pay taxes on it. There will be a loan payment, but if it is less than the tax liability, it may be a good option.

Distinction Between the Cash Value and Surrender Value

The cash value and surrender value of your policy are not the same things. The cash value is the amount of money you’ve accumulated in the policy. It’s a mix of the money you put in and the dividends it earned.

If you no longer want the policy, the surrender value is the net cash value you can withdraw or surrender. After all, the surrender value is the number of surrender fees and other charges deducted from your cash value. The earlier you withdraw funds from your policy, the higher the surrender values and fees will be (the less cash you’ll receive).

Alternatives to Cash Value Surrender

Surrendering your cash value isn’t always the best financial decision. First, you’ll cancel your life insurance policy, which can be costly if you don’t replace it with another policy. Second, you may incur such high tax liabilities that taking the cash value is not worthwhile. Consider the following alternatives before surrendering your life insurance policy:

  • Use your cash value policy as collateral – Many banks will accept your cash value policy as collateral for a loan. This way, you get the cash you need without having to cancel your policy or incur a tax liability.
  • Withdraw funds – You can withdraw some of your funds while keeping the dividends. This preserves your life insurance policy while avoiding excessive taxation.
  • Borrow against your cash value – Some life insurance policies permit you to borrow against your cash value. You’ll have to pay the money back eventually, but you’ll be paying yourself rather than a bank, and your life insurance policy will remain in effect.

Using the cash surrender value of the life insurance policy has a number of effects. Before taking any action, you should consider these suggestions.


Only certain types of life insurance, such as whole and universal life, provide a cash value component. The transaction is terminated when you surrender the cash value in your life insurance policy. Your policy remains in effect if you borrow from the cash value. If you surrender your policy, you will forfeit the cash benefit and be subject to fees and other charges, especially if your policy is new and has little equity built into it. Furthermore, surrendering your life insurance policy will have an impact on your designated beneficiaries.

Whole life insurance always gives you a cash value, but you can’t give it up until you cancel your policy. Universal life insurance has a more flexible cash value, so after the first year of the policy, the policyholder can give up some of the cash. Overall, if you surrender your policy to access its cash value, you will not receive the policy’s actual cash value, but rather its surrender value, which will most likely be significantly less than the full policy value.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should you surrender your life insurance policy?

In general, you should only surrender your life insurance policy if you are replacing it with another policy. Even though it might be tempting to give up your coverage to get the cash surrender value, if you do that, your loved ones will probably not have the financial security that the death benefit of your policy would give them if you died.

How much will I get if I surrender my life insurance policy?

The cash surrender value of a policy will vary depending on the policyholder. The cash surrender value is affected by factors such as the type of policy, how long it has been in place, and how much money has been paid into it.

What happens when you surrender your life insurance policy?

You cancel a life insurance policy when you surrender it for cash value. That means you no longer have life insurance coverage if you pass away.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like