How Do Life Insurance Companies Make Money In 2022?

Nov 10, 2023 By Triston Martin

In terms of business models are concerned, some are easy to grasp. A corner store will sell more expensive gum than the amount they purchased it for, whereas carpenters charge for time and supplies. Most people are asking how do life insurance companies make money? However, for life insurance, the method of making money is a bit less clear. Even though it's a bit complicated, understanding the way that life insurance companies earn money is essential to know how life insurance operates and what type of insurance is best for you.

How Life Insurance Works

Life insurance policies are established after you fill out an application, get approved, and then begin paying your premiums to the company that you have chosen. If you pass away, the insurance company pays the death benefit to the beneficiaries. The way that the company handles those premiums in the time between receipt and payout of the number of death benefits (if there is one) will determine the amount of profit that an insurer can be.

What Is the Way a Life Insurance Company Makes Money?

Almost all life insurance firms make money by selling plans that pay premiums, invest premiums, build cash value, or expire.

Charging Premiums

When you pay your insurance payments, you keep your policy active, which ensures that the beneficiaries of the firm will get an inheritance in the event of your passing. Your insurance company carefully figures out the amount of your premiums so that the policy's death benefit can be paid and the company can make money. Estimate the premium that you will have to pay based on the length of time that your insurance will cover you and how long you are expected to live:

  • Your policy's death benefit
  • Costs of administering your insurance
  • Profits of the insurer

If there are too many customers who die earlier than anticipated and have to cover more claims than they originally planned, the insurance company loses money. That is why the underwriting process is extremely rigorous and has severe penalties for hiding information in your application.

You Can Invest the Premiums You've Paid

In the years prior to when they have to pay the beneficiary of their death, the insurer puts a percentage of those payouts. If an economic downturn occurs, the insurer reserves cash to payout claims and retains any interest accrued.

Cash Value Investment Gains

A second investment stream is provided by life insurance policyholders who are permanent, whose premiums pay for both their death benefit as well as a cash value feature that is similar to an investment. The cash value increases according to the rate established by your service provider. The cash is deposited into a greater investment pool controlled by your service provider, and a small portion of the profits remain in the business.

The Policy Is Lapsed and Then Expires

There are also insurance policies that are not claimed. This could be the case when you have term life insurance that typically expires after you've enough savings to self-insure. Permanent policies that come with high premiums are typically abandoned or canceled when the owners cannot make the monthly payments. A policy's lapse or surrender means that the insurer will no longer be liable to pay the amount due for this policy. However, the insurer will lose any premiums that could be put into. Many insurers will charge a surrender cost to recuperate some of the loss of revenue. A term life insurance policy that has expired is a great option for insurance providers since it lets them pay for decades of premiums without having to pay out any claims.

These are just the methods insurance companies earn money from Life insurance plans. Life insurance providers typically offer other financial products like annuities. So, they are able to rely on several products to make money.


Insurance plays a crucial part in the economy, helping economic activity by assisting businesses and individuals manage their risks. Because of the significance of this function, insurance companies are able to impact the financial stability of a business. Life insurance companies have invested an enormous amount of time and money studying mortality rates as well as the percentage of policies in effect until conditions expire or the payout of death benefits is made. It has learned from experiences in the past and the present and prior work of a multitude of actuaries how much to charge and what to invest in order to become one of the top industries globally.

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