Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Participating Policy


A participating policy is a type of insurance policy, typically a life insurance policy, that allows policyholders to share in the profits of the insurance company. The insurance company distributes these profits in the form of dividends, which can be paid out as cash, used to reduce premiums, or applied to increase policy benefits. Participating policies offer financial benefits to policyholders while also providing traditional insurance coverage.


The phonetics of “Participating Policy” is: pahr-tuh-suh-pey-ting puh-luh-see

Key Takeaways

  1. Dividends and Profit-Sharing: Participating policies allow policyholders to receive a share of the insurance company’s profits in the form of dividends, offering a potential source of additional income or policy enhancements.
  2. Higher Premiums: The premiums for participating policies are typically higher than those for non-participating policies, reflecting the potential for increased benefits and financial returns for the policyholder.
  3. Greater Flexibility: Participating policies provide policyholders with flexibility regarding how they use their dividends, such as through reinvestment, cash payments, or using the dividends to reduce future premium payments.


The term “Participating Policy” is important in business and finance because it refers to a unique type of insurance policy that allows policyholders to share in the profits and financial rewards of the insurance company. With a participating policy, policyholders are entitled to receive dividends or other benefits, such as reduced premiums or an increase in coverage, in accordance with the company’s financial performance. This creates a cooperative relationship between the policyholder and the insurer, where both parties share in the success of the company. Additionally, participating policies can offer attractive long-term advantages, such as accumulated cash value and potential growth on investment components, making them an appealing option for consumers seeking broader financial benefits from their insurance policies.


A participating policy serves as a means for policyholders to share in the success and profitability of an insurance company. Its primary purpose is to allow those who hold these policies to potentially receive annual dividends from the insurer’s financial surplus. By purchasing a participating policy, policyholders essentially take part in the company’s overall performance, with the goal of reaping benefits when the business surpasses its financial expectations. Typically used in life insurance policies and sometimes in endowment plans, this gives policyholders an opportunity to enhance their investment returns while still enjoying the core insurance benefits.

Participating policyholders enjoy the flexibility to choose how they want to use their dividends, enabling them to tailor their policy based on their financial goals and needs. They can opt to receive annual cash payouts to supplement their income or reinvest the dividends back into the policy to enhance their coverage or accumulate earnings over time. Additionally, they can also use the dividends to pay premiums, reducing their out-of-pocket expenses. It is important to note, however, that dividends are not guaranteed and depend on factors such as the insurer’s investment returns, claims experience, and expense management. By offering policyholders a possible way to share in the company’s profit, participating policies aim to provide individuals with long-term value and growth during their coverage period.


A participating policy is an insurance policy that enables the policyholder to share in the profits of the insurance company, usually in the form of dividends or bonus returns. Here are three real-world examples of participating policies:

1. Whole Life Participating Insurance Policy: John purchases a whole life participating insurance policy, which provides coverage for his entire life and accumulates a cash value over time. The insurance company invests the premiums paid by John, along with those of other policyholders, and generates a profit. John is eligible to receive annual dividends or bonuses based on the company’s performance. John can either reinvest the dividend back into his policy to increase its cash value or use it to reduce his premium payments.

2. Endowment Participating Insurance Policy: Emma has an endowment participating policy, which is an insurance product combining both savings and life insurance. Emma will receive a lump sum payment, either at a specified maturity date or if she dies before the policy matures. The policy is a participating one, meaning Emma will receive dividends or bonuses from the insurance company depending on their performance. Like John, Emma can reinvest the dividends to increase her policy’s savings component or reduce her premium payments.

3. Universal Life Participating Insurance Policy: Michael buys a participating universal life insurance policy, which provides flexible premiums and an adjustable death benefit. This policy also accumulates a cash value that can grow based on the company’s performance. If the insurance company has a profitable year, Michael may receive a dividend that he can use to increase the cash value, reduce his premium payments, or withdraw as cash.In all three examples, the policyholders have participating policies, which allow them to benefit from the insurance company’s positive financial performance through dividends or bonus payments.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Participating Policy?

A participating policy is a type of insurance policy, typically a life insurance policy, that allows policyholders to share in the profits of the insurance company. This sharing of profits can result in the return of a portion of the paid premiums, or in the form of dividends, which can be utilized to increase the death benefit or be withdrawn as cash.

How do participating policies differ from non-participating policies?

Participating policies offer the policyholder opportunities to receive dividends based on the insurer’s financial performance, while non-participating policies do not. Non-participating policies have fixed premiums and benefits, without the potential for additional financial gain or rewards for the policyholder.

Can I choose to have a participating policy?

Yes, when purchasing a life insurance policy, you can choose a participating policy if it is offered by the insurance company. Keep in mind that participating policies often come with higher premiums than non-participating policies due to the added potential benefits.

How are dividends determined for a participating policy?

Dividends for a participating policy are determined based on the financial performance of the insurance company, including factors such as investment earnings, mortality rates, and expense management. These factors are evaluated annually, and if the company performs well in these areas, it may result in dividends being distributed to policyholders.

Are dividends from participating policies guaranteed?

No, dividends from participating policies are not guaranteed. They depend on the financial performance of the insurance company, and there is the possibility that no dividends will be paid out in a given year if the performance criteria are not met.

How can I use the dividends from my participating policy?

Dividends from participating policies can typically be used in several ways, such as:1. Reinvesting the dividends to increase the policy’s cash value.2. Applying the dividends towards payment of policy premiums.3. Leaving the dividends to accumulate interest with the insurance company.4. Withdrawing the dividends as cash, which may have tax implications.

Are participating policies suitable for everyone?

Participating policies may not be the best choice for everyone, as they may have higher premiums and more complex features than non-participating policies. It is essential to evaluate your financial goals, needs, and risk tolerance before deciding on the best type of life insurance policy for you. Consulting a financial advisor may be helpful in making this decision.

Related Finance Terms

  • Dividends Distribution
  • Policyholder’s Share
  • Insurance Surplus
  • Non-guaranteed Benefits
  • Profit Sharing

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More