Chapter 24 Investment-Oriented Life Insurance

Frank J. Jones, Ph.D.

Chief Investment Officer The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

Insurance and investments are distinct concepts. This distinction leads to the development of various insurance and investment products. In practice, however, there is an overlap between some types of insurance products and investment products. This overlap occurs due partially to specific tax advantages provided to investment-oriented life insurance products. The two major types of investment-oriented life insurance are cash value life insurance and annuities.

This chapter begins with an overview of insurance. The remainder of the chapter considers the major types of investment-oriented life insurance, mainly cash value life insurance and annuities.


Insurance is defined as a contract whereby one party-the insured-substitutes a small certain cost (the insurance premium) for a large uncertain financial loss based on a future contingent event. Thus, there are two parties to an insurance contract, the insured, who pays the premium and receives protection; and the insurer (or insurance company), which collects the premium and provides the protection.1

Most types of insurance provide for a prespecified payment from the insurer to the insured if and when the contingent insured event occurs and otherwise have no value. This is called pure insurance. Other types of insurance have a “cash value” even if the contingent event does not occur. ...

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