There isn’t one.
Companies in this industry might claim there is a difference, but there isn’t. The naming is entirely a matter of marketing.
Do an internet search for news about viatical settlements. The news is almost entirely negative; it’s about swindlers and lawsuits, about investment scams. The bad news has tarred the name “viatical”.
This is unfortunate, because viatical settlements are not in themselves bad or prone to attract swindlers. And they can be very useful for many people. And there are honest, legitimate companies engaged in buying them.
The bad name of viaticals has caused some companies to start calling them “senior settlements”. You even see some of these companies’ websites claiming “senior settlements are not viatical settlements” in attempt to mitigate fears of potential customers. This is purely “damage control”. There is actually no difference between the settlements these companies are calling “senior settlements” and viatical settlements.
These companies seem to hope they can allay concerns of people who might be interested in selling their life insurance policies, and even more so of investors who they hope to sell the settlements to. Maybe it will work for them.
The seemingly unending stream of bad news attached to “viatical”
has led to this dodge by the dealers.