Dividends and Dividend Options

Among life insurance policies, only participating policies pay dividends. These dividends are not like dividends on stock, but are merely the nontaxable return of some excess premium by the insurance company based on lower-than-expected mortality expenses (fewer claims than expected) and administrative expenses, and/or higher than expected investment yields. A participating policy will normally describe the five alternatives that can be selected with respect to any dividends that might become available: