Last updated: May 10, 2024

What is participating life insurance?

Participating life insurance (also called par insurance) is an insurance contract that may pay dividends to the policyholder.

Benefits of participating life insurance

Tax-free payment for your beneficiaries

Lifetime financial protection

Cash-value growth

A chance to earn policy dividends

How does participating life insurance work?

Participating Life Insurance offers three important features: lifetime insurance, cash-value growth, and a chance to earn policy dividends:

Lifetime insurance

A participating policy includes whole life insurance protection, which provides coverage that’s guaranteed for life. This means that your coverage will never expire, and your beneficiaries are guaranteed to get a tax-free payment (also called the death benefit) after you die – this is provided you’ve paid your premiumsPremiums refer to the monthly or annual fees you pay in exchange for having insurance..

Cash-value growth

Participating policies also come with a savings portion called the cash value.  You can borrow against your cash value or withdraw funds from itBorrowing against your cash value or withdrawing from it may reduce your policy's death benefit.. Your cash value can grow over time on a tax-preferred basis. This means you won’t have to pay tax on any cash-value growth unless you borrow against the cash value above certain limits or start withdrawing funds.

Chance to earn policy dividends

A participating life insurance contract also gives you the opportunity to earn policy dividends. We calculate the amount each year. You can use these dividends in different ways.

For example, you can:

  • Let dividends earn interest and grow in a separate account
  • Buy additional coverage within your policy
  • Reduce your premiums
  • Receive the amount in cash

Some of these options also come with tax implications. It’s also important to note we don’t guarantee policy dividends.

Our participating life insurance products

Sun Par Protector II

Ideal for families and children.

  • Lifetime coverage
  • Long-term cash value and death-benefit growth

Sun Par Accumulator II

Ideal for families and business owners.

  • Lifetime coverage
  • Long-term cash value and death-benefit growth
  • Higher cash value over the short term

Sun Par Accelerator

Ideal for families and business owners looking to pay up their policy quickly.

  • Lifetime coverage that’s fully paid-up in 8 years
  • High cash value over the short term
  • Long-term cash value and death-benefit growth

Get advice

Interested in participating life insurance? Or maybe you’re not sure which product is right for you? An advisor can discuss your options and help you set up an insurance plan that meets your needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is participating life insurance worth it?

It can be. It’s particularly ideal for anyone who’s interested in:

  • lifetime protection and significant savings potential
  • ways to save for retirement
  • estate planning and leaving money behind as part of a legacy
  • ensuring their policy’s death benefit isn’t drastically affected by inflation

What’s the difference between participating and non-participating life insurance in Canada?

The main difference is that participating policies give you the chance to earn policy dividends whereas non-participating policies do not.

This means participating policyholders can benefit from the performance of our participating account. But it’s important to note that we don’t guarantee dividends.  Connect with an advisor for more detailed information.

What is the difference between participating and universal life insurance?

The main difference is that universal life insurance lets you choose the investment account options in your policy whereas participating life insurance does not. Universal life policies also offer more payment flexibility than participating life policies. However, participating insurance gives you the chance to earn policy dividends and offers some payment flexibility. Both participating and universal policies offer lifetime coverage, a death-benefit guarantee and cash-value growth.

How much can I earn from policy dividends?

Policy dividends can change from year to year. Participating life policies are grouped based on certain factors such as the type of policy and when it was purchased. The experience of each group determines the dividends we can allocate to the group. However, it’s important to note that we do not guarantee dividends.

Got more questions?

An advisor can address any of your questions about participating life insurance. They can help you figure out which product is right for you and provide you with a customized quote.

Enter your postal code to find an advisor near you.