A viator is a person who is terminally ill and has sold their rights of their life insurance policy to an investor. The investor in turn purchases the policy for a percentage of the total proceeds of the policy, based upon the life expectancy of the viator.
The investor who purchased the life insurance policy is guaranteed no exact date of death. The investor has also agreed to pay the premiums of the policy until the death of the viator, in the sales contract. The longer the life of the viator, the less return the investor will receive on their investment.
There is no penalty to the viator for living longer than their life expectancy of the contract of sale. The viatical company or investor who owns the policy will simply have to wait longer for the proceeds of the death claim.