Benefits of Mutual Savings Life Insurance Plans

Mutual savings life insurance is less an aspect of a particular plan. It's more an aspect of the kind of company that sells you the policy. Whether this kind of plan is right for you depends on your needs compared to the benefits of mutual savings life insurance.

Basics

Most life insurance companies are stock life insurance, structured like other corporations and responsible to shareholders. Their shares might or might not be publicly traded. A mutual life company makes each person who buys a policy a shareholder, and it's thus responsible to its customer base. Coverage and commission structures are usually roughly equal in both cases. The difference is what happens with the money that funds that coverage and pays the commissions.

History

The first insurance companies in America were mutual savings companies -- essentially, groups of people who pooled money together in case one of them suffered a loss. As corporate structures became more prevalent and standardized, stock insurance companies became the norm.

Dividends

Policyholders of a mutual savings insurance company are stockholders in that company. When the company makes a profit, that profit can be shared among the owners. Mutual insurance companies have different ways of doing this. Some give all members lower rates, and others distribute periodic dividends to their shareholders.

Conflict of Interest

Stock insurance companies suffer from an inherent conflict of interest. Decisions that benefit owners financially don't always benefit the policyholders. With a mutual savings company, benefiting owners also benefits policyholders. That conflict of interest doesn't exist.

Reliability

Most stock insurance companies engage in investments and other strategies to raise operating capital. Mutual insurance companies can raise funds only via their stockholders. This leaves these companies far less susceptible to bad decisions or unstable economies, and it better guarantees that the money for death benefits will be available when needed.

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