4 Strategies on How Life Insurance Companies Make Money

Life insurance companies are all profitable as industries running for providing insurance products and policies for people. If they are highly profitable in this world, then you must be questioning how life insurance companies make money, won’t you?

Fining the way a life insurance companies earn money can be started by looking for how they work. For sure, we write this article to let you get to know the answer. So provide your time to continue reading on this review explaining how life insurance companies earn more from time to time so they still exist up to now.


How Life Insurance Companies Work

A life insurance policy is approved and created firmly when you complete an insurance application. Then, you will pay the premiums monthly to the company. When you pass away, the company will pay your death benefits to your beneficiaries.

The company manages all about evaluating and examining your application, giving approval and receiving premiums payments each month for either 10, 20, 30 years or even a life time. How you pay your premiums will be one of the factors that determine how profitable an insurer will be.


How Life Insurance Companies Make Money

According to some sources, life insurance companies make money in mainly two ways. Those are from the profit they make on premium payments and from reinvesting the premiums. Meanwhile, other sources mentioned that there are four primary ways for insurance companies in making money. Those are by charging the premiums, reinvesting those premiums, investing cash value and policy lapses.

To completely understand how life insurance companies makes money, here we have include all the strategies that the companies apply to earn each year so they still exist either to provide the customers with the best policies for family life protection or to earn themselves big money.


Strategy 1: Charging The Premiums

The first strategy applied by life insurance companies is charging the premiums. The policy premiums you pay each month will keeps the policy in-force, making your beneficiaries able to get your death benefits.

Premiums are well-calculated by the insurers in order that you can cover your death benefit and offer profit to the company. In this case, there are thousands of actuaries employed by the companies, especially those who are specializing in advanced statistics and profitability, to perform a careful calculation to determine the financial costs of the risks that the companies may face. The risks are usually whether the clients smoke or have serious health issues like cancer or heart disease. This information will help determine the premium charged to the specified clients.

Hence, the company will exactly know how much it will charge the clients in premiums to cover its liabilities and to make a profit – to make money.

Note, the underwriting process include the evaluation on your applications, health history, and additional information that are put together in terms of table that will be used to determine your mortality risk. This will form the basis of your premium.

Based on the length of policy coverage you purchase and your estimated life expectancy, the premiums you pay will fund three expenses; your policy’s death benefit, your policy administering cost and the insurance company profit. In other words, these expenses will be funded by the premiums you pay each month.

However, if there are too many clients pass away sooner than expected, the life insurance companies must pay out more claims than they are planned. This way, the companies lose their money. Therefore, there are penalties for concealing information on your insurance application.


Strategy 2; Reinvesting Your Paid Premiums

The second strategy on how life insurance companies make money is to reinvest your paid premiums. Simply to understand, you pay your premiums and the company will use it for profitable investment. In this regards, the insurers usually set aside sufficient amount of cash to pay out the claims while still keeping the interest gained.

In fact, this strategy is considered much more substantial and representing a significant amount of total revenues. It is even making profit up to $186 billion of revenue for either life or annuity insurance industry in 2020. Well, reinvesting the paid premiums is even promising compared to $143.1 billion from making profit by life insurance premiums.

How do this work? How do you understand its process? It is much related with the way you manage the cash value that we are going to explain later in the next section.


Strategy 3: Investing Cash Value

If you want to understand how a life insurance works to make money, consider the cash value component in the policies provided by permanent life insurance. This way, permanent life insurance policies include universal and whole life. These two types of permanent life insurance have a cash value account along with the policy to offset the insurance cost as you reach your age.

An amount of each premium involves in the cash value account which will be invested later through the “General account” of the insurer. This account is primarily in fixed-income securities just like bonds but it is also in stocks, real estate holdings and other investment types. In this case, the company keeps some of the profit and pay some of to the customers or clients. This way, both the policyholders and insurer make money.

In short, the general account makes money, the policy types and account expenses do, too. This will lead the company to determine how much interest they must pay to policyholder’s cash-value accounts.

Note, the cash values in life insurance policies aren’t actually invested in the general account of cash reserves conducted by the insurance company. However, they are invested in mutual subaccounts that are provided by each of the policy.

Simply to understand, the funds flow to a larger investment handled by your provider. And, some of the earnings stay with the life insurance company. As simple as that.


Strategy 4: Policy Lapses and Expiration

The other strategy which may be the last but not the least one is the policy lapses and expiration. Yes, according to the source, life insurance companies can make money through their policy lapses and expiration.

Though the investment income derived from the cash policies become a major source of revenue for life insurance industries, the lapses policies and expiring term policies can be highly profitable for insurers, too. That is due to the fact that the insurance policy will no longer be liable for the company when an insurance policy lapses. This way, the company should not pay the claims or pay out the death benefit on that policy. Hence, the company’s money stay. In other words, the company doesn’t lose its money because they have to pay out soon.

However, the policies that lapse also implies that the company will have lost revenue. This way, the premiums paid for the policy won’t be paid as the cash value in the permanent insurance cannot be invested anymore.

Society of Actuaries and Industry group LIMRA found in their study that the entire annual policy lapse rate was 4.0% between the year 2009 and 2013. This is based on the most recent data available. Meanwhile, the lapse rate for the term policies was 6.2% each year.

Simply to understand, some insurance policies don’t need to be paid out due to the insurance lapse and expiration. Permanent policies that offer the high price of premiums are often lapsing especially when the clients cannot afford to keep up with the payments.

As we have mentioned, when they policies lapse, it means the insurer isn’t liable for the payout anymore. This leads to lose the premiums that you may have invested, too. Meanwhile, an expired term policy allows the insurance company to collect decades of premiums without the need to pay out any claims.


Is insurer’s Profit Affect Your Life Insurance Policy?

In relation to how life insurance companies make money, now you need to know whether the insurer’s profit could affect your life insurance policy or not.

While you know that life insurance is profitable for the company, it is unlikely recognized to see that the insurer’s profit will affect your life insurance policy. This way, if you have a policy with a cash value, you may think that the companies will make money from the investments. However, the guaranteed minimum interest should manage the way not to allow you for losing the money.

In this regards, your life insurance company changes the profit through both the premiums and investments. However, the insurer must be willing to keep your premiums affordable so that you can keep your business running well without any hassle. Further, if your life insurance company has a very strong finances, it can ensure that your policy pays out to your beloved someone when you pass away.


Another Tips: Use Money To Make Money

Never give up to make money, ever! Life insurance companies have regular rank either in the oldest or in the biggest companies on the globe. While selling the insurance is profitable, that’s not a single reason why life insurance companies make as much money as they do.

Life insurance companies basically need money to work the capital in order to function. They have to hold the most of premiums that they will pay. Hence, they will have enough cash value to cover their death benefits.

Now a big question is; what do the life insurance do with the premiums that people have paid?

Note, a large sum of money derived from the paid premiums can be used to make even more money through investing, as we have told you in the previous section. A literal access to billions of dollars open a way to life insurance companies to invest in a wide range of markets and in financial products in order to maximize their profitable returns.

Thus, life insurance companies must use tons of their data scientists on staff to make up their financial analysis and manage even the biggest funds.

While some profitable returns resulted from the investment will be used to reduce the policy premiums and can also be returned to universal life insurance policyholders, they are still staying to help insurance companies absorb the profit.



Based on our review on how life insurance companies make money, we can clearly conclude that there are four primary strategies used by life insurance companies to make money. The first strategy is deriving the profit from the premiums you paid. Second, the companies can reinvest the paid premiums in a wide range of financial activities that offers big and promising returns.

The third strategy is investing cash values while the last strategy that let the companies to earn more money is the insurance lapses and expiration.

Thanks for reading our reviews. If you think it is helpful and useful, you may share it with your friends and families.

Add Comment