Life Insurance Earnings (Terms Described) | QuickQuote®


quick Facts

  • Only permanent policies are eligible for life insurance earnings
  • The amount you receive depends on the size of the life insurance policy — more expensive policies lead to higher earnings
  • You can collect dividends as cash, use them to pay life insurance premiums, or leave them in a savings account to collect interest.

Life insurance earnings are a return on your annual premium. Unlike dividends on stock market investments, life insurance dividends are not taxable and can be used in a variety of ways.

You may already receive an annual dividend check from your insurance company if you have whole life insurance. Policyholders can also apply the dividend to their monthly rates or leave it in a savings account to earn interest.

This guide covers all of your options for life insurance earnings, including how much you’re eligible to earn with different funds Types of life insurance.

Understanding Life Insurance Profits

Permanent life insurance You pay a dividend when the company’s financial performance is better than expected. Your company will return any unused premiums in the form of life insurance earnings, and the amount you receive depends on the size of your policy and your annual rates.

You have to have a whole life or some other type of permanent policy to earn profits, just that Cash value life insurance Eligible for returns like these.

How is my life insurance earnings calculated?

Every year you pay an annual premium for life insurance. Insurance companies then subtract the annual cost of claims and business operations. Anything left over is divided among policyholders as life insurance profits.

Most companies offer a dividend rate of 3% to 6% in annual installments. At the lowest rate, you can earn up to $1,500 annually on a $50,000 insurance policy.

Policyholders should remember that dividends are not guaranteed. You only earn profits if the insurance company does well, and most companies will not guarantee profits because of the risk. If you want guaranteed profits on life insurance, be prepared to pay higher rates.

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How to use life insurance earnings

Like other items of cash value life insurance, you can access your earnings at any time and use them in the following ways:

  • monetary: The insurance company will either send a check or deposit an annuity dividend directly into the bank account associated with your insurance policy.
  • Life insurance payments: Policyholders can apply dividends to life insurance payments and lower their monthly rates.
  • Supplementary coverage: Use dividends to buy Supplementary life insurance Or prepay for additional coverage on the policy.
  • saving account: Keep your life insurance earnings in an account with your insurance company to collect interest.

Dividend options vary by company, so review your policy closely to determine the best way to use your policy.

Fortunately, even if you surrender the life insurance, the earnings account will be credited to the surrender value. Learn more in our guide to Cash value vs. surrender value.

Guaranteed earnings for life insurance

Since companies generally offer a 3% rate on life insurance earnings, this table shows how much you can earn on various insurance policies.

Some companies have a higher rate. For example, According to Cision PR NewswireGuardian Life recently increased With a dividend rate of 5.75%. This is why it is so important to compare several companies.

Guardian Life is among The best life insurance companies, but you may find a different insurance company that fits your lifestyle better. Scroll down to compare insurance companies or enter your zip code above to find local companies that offer dividend whole life insurance.

The life insurance companies with the best dividend payouts

The companies with the best dividend payout will have a rate of 5% or higher. However, rates change annually based on performance, so look to AM Best and other third-party ratings for life insurance earnings history and long-term financial strength.

The following national insurers have an AM “Superior” rating better than A++ and a consistent dividend rate of at least 5%:

  • Guardian life
  • MassMutual
  • New York Life
  • PennMutual

Read Penn Mutual Life Insurance Review or explore other Whole life insurance companies and policy options to find the best life insurance near you.

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Types of life insurance policies on dividend payments

Because only permanent policies have insurance dividends, this table compares monthly whole life insurance rates by age and policy limit. Read more about How much does life insurance cost.

In this example, a 30-year-old policyholder who pays $103 a month for $100,000 of coverage could earn up to $3,000 in annual life insurance earnings, more than twice their annual rates.

However, these rates are much higher than term life insurance, so read life insurance vs whole life insurance to find the most affordable policy for you.

All you need to know about life insurance earnings

Life insurance earnings are the return you earn on any unused premium payments. Whole life insurance only earns dividends, so your monthly rates will likely be higher depending on how much coverage you need.

In general, you can make $1,500 a year on a $50,000 policy, but the dividends increase if you have a more expensive policy or choose a company with a higher rate. Most companies offer 3%, but others can offer 6% or more if they’re doing well.

Compare local life insurance companies to find the best return on your investment. Use the comparison tool above to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change my life insurance dividend option?

You can usually change your life insurance earnings options while your policy is in effect, but you need to confirm with your company before making any changes.

Are dividends the same as cash value?

No, cash value is the amount guaranteed to a life insurance policyholder during his life. A dividend is an additional amount of money earned based on annuity payments and the insurance company’s financial performance.

Can you withdraw earnings from life insurance?

When life insurance earnings exceed premiums, policyholders can withdraw the amount in cash.

Should I Choose a Dividend-Based Life Insurance Company?

Choosing the right life insurance company depends on more than just dividends. Read our guide on how to buy life insurance to learn more.

What is the lifetime dividend policy?

Dividend-paying whole life insurance is a permanent policy that pays a partial return on your monthly or annual premiums. This should not be confused with return-of-premium (ROP) life insurance, which is a type of life term that returns premiums if you exceed the term of the policy.

Are life insurance earnings taxable?

Life insurance earnings are not taxable because they are considered a reimbursement of overpayments.

Can I choose to receive life insurance earnings in cash?

Depending on the life insurance company, you can take cash dividends, apply them to life insurance rates, or purchase supplemental coverage.

Can I get a life insurance dividend loan?

Policyholders can get loans only against the cash value of the life insurance.

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Editorial Tips: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective third party source for all things life insurance. We update our website regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

Rachel Brennan has been in the insurance industry since 2006 when she started working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she held her property and casualty license in all 50 states. Several years later, she expanded her expertise in the insurance field, earning a license in health insurance and AD&D insurance as well. I worked for a small health in…

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Rachel Brennan
Licensed insurance agent
Rachel Brennan

Benjamin Carr has worked as a licensed insurance agent at State Farm and Tennant Special Risk. He sold various lines of coverage and informed his clients about their life, health and property/accident insurance needs. Assessing risk and helping people find the best coverage for their needs is his passion. He appreciates that insurance is designed to protect people, especially in times…

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Benjamin Carr

Former state farm insurance agent

Benjamin Carr



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