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Top 10 Best Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance Companies

Fact Checked by Jason Herring & Barry Brooksby
Licensed Agents & Life Insurance Experts.
Insurance and Estates, a strategic life insurance provider composed of life insurance professionals, is committed to integrity in our editorial standards and transparency in how we receive compensation from our insurance partners.
Best Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance

In this article, we’ll be exploring dividend paying whole life insurance, a valuable tool for wealth creation and legacy building offered by mutual insurance companies. These mutual companies pay dividends to policyholders, making them some of the best options in the insurance market. We will cover the complexities and advantages of these policies, focusing on early high cash value growth. By covering the top companies, we aim to dispel common myths and highlight the real benefits of dividend paying whole life insurance. Whether you’re considering cash value life insurance for various reasons or curious about the top companies in this area, this article will provide valuable insights and comparisons, helping you make well-informed decisions for your financial future.

Table of Contents

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Introduction to Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance

When it comes to the top whole life insurance companies, participating whole life policies from mutual insurance companies, where the mutual insurer pays a dividend to participating policyholders, are the best whole life insurance companies available in the marketplace.

Additionally, a properly designed dividend paying whole life insurance policy focused on high cash value growth, AKA a high cash value whole life insurance policy, is a great vehicle for creating wealth and leaving a legacy.

In the following article covering the best dividend paying whole life insurance companies we are going to cover the benefits of whole life insurance and dispel the lies surrounding this amazing asset and compound savings vehicle.

Now, if you’re considering cash value life insurance for any number of reasons, you’re bound to ask at some point who are the top 10 best whole life insurance companies before you pursue an individual policy. The good news is we will provide our top 10 dividend paying whole life insurance companies below.

In the world of the best whole life insurance companies, there are a number of top rated insurance companies with an impressive history for paying life insurance dividends and offering rock solid performance even through the worst economic crises in our nation’s history (i.e. the Great Depression and the Great Recession).

At Insurance and Estates, we prioritize using cash value life insurance for wealth building and retirement planning. So, our evaluation of the best dividend paying whole life insurance companies tends to FAVOR those companies that offer maximum cash value accumulation through additional riders, such as paid-up additions and term insurance riders.

The purpose of maximizing cash value growth in a whole life policy for wealth building is to allow the policy owner to:

  1. Take loans against the cash value to purchase other assets and/or recapture debt from expenses, while the cash value continues to grow SIMULTANEOUSLY in the policy through tax advantaged accumulation.
  2. Create a “Safe Bucket”, which acts as the foundation for your wealth building journey.
  3. Allows true compound interest growth in a tax deferred environment for maximal growth.

To set the stage for this Top 10 guide

Our goal is that this guide will offer you some insight about what to look for when shopping whole life insurance companies for the purpose of obtaining a superior tax advantaged asset and noting those dividend whole life companies that tend to outshine the others.

What is Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance?

Whole Life Insurance as a “Safe Bucket”

Whole life insurance provides a “safe bucket” due to the guarantees these specially designed policies provide.When we say “safe bucket” we are referring to a place where you can place your money without the fear that your capital will decrease because of a housing crash or stock market crash.


The guarantees offered with whole life policies are a guaranteed level premium, guaranteed death benefit for your entire life and guaranteed cash value accumulation.

  • A guaranteed level premium provides a stable floor where you know you will only be required to pay the same fixed premium, and not a penny more.
  • A guaranteed death benefit provides the peace of mind that if you die prematurely, your beneficiary will receive the full guaranteed death benefit tax free.
  • And guaranteed cash value growth provides an increase year in and year out on your policy’s total cash value, so that your cash value grows in true compound interest style.

However, participating whole life policies take it one step further and offers annual dividend payments to policy owners.

About Whole Life Insurance Dividends

Dividend paying whole life insurance is a permanent life insurance policy where the insurance provider offers a return of premium to the policy owner in the form of a dividend.

A dividend is considered a return of premium for tax purposes. And this is a good thing because it allows the dividend to be tax free. We like the IRS definition because we want tax-free money.

However, only stating that a dividend is a return of premium is a partial truth. There are some financial entertainers out there that lead you to believe you’re overpaying for whole life insurance and you’re just getting your money back when you receive a dividend. But that’s only half of the story.

Mutual insurance companies invest premium dollars. They make money on their investments. They earn a rate of return on those investments. They make profits on those investments. Those profits come back to mutual policyholders in the form of a dividend. Mutual policy holders participate in the profits of the company. That’s a powerful benefit as a mutual policyholder.

The whole life insurance dividend, defined as a return of premium, is tax free and is reinvested back into policy cash value which means you now earn compound interest every year on that dividend. To only say a dividend is a return of premium is a naive comment and doesn’t tell the entire truth.


As noted, not all life insurance offers dividends. Permanent life insurance that pays dividends is exclusive to participating whole life insurance.

Dividends are NOT guaranteed but most companies offering these types of life insurance policies have paid dividends consistently for the last 100+ years.

This type of dividend paying coverage is also referred to as participating whole life insurance because the policy owner is participating in the insurance company’s profits.

Basic Definitions

One last thing to mention. With life insurance, there are some key players.

  • The owner of the policy, the company, the insured and the beneficiary.
  • The owner is often, but not always the insured.
  • The policy is a legal contract between the owner and the company.
  • The insurance company pays out a lump sum death benefit to the beneficiary of the policy upon the death of the insured.

In the following article we will refer to the owner and insured as “you” in order to make this a more enjoyable read.

Our Criteria Used to Determine the Top 10 Best Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance Policies

Disclosure: We are not compensated by any of the companies mentioned in this article apart from commissions paid in the normal course of business as life insurance agents. The following companies are hand picked by our team, which has over 70+ years of combined life insurance experience.

Although many of the the companies listed are among the largest life insurance companies, that was not a criteria we used in determining who to put in our list. Rather, our chosen criteria for reviewing our Top 10 Best whole life companies list is as follows.

Criteria 1 – Mutual Company vs. Stock Company

According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, when seeking cash value life insurance, “a mutual company is usually your best bet.”(1)

The reason that a mutual insurance company is preferred vs a stock company is that the policy holder is a “member” in a mutual company who “participates” in the insurance provider’s investment gains and skill in selecting risk, as opposed to non-participating whole life insurance coverage from a stock company, where there are typically no dividends.

As a participant, the policy holder in a mutual life insurance company receives tax free dividends on the cash value, which is not income but rather a return of premium.

Let us emphasize this point…

The payment of dividends to policy holders offers significant tax advantages for cash value growth because the dividends are not taxable as income but are viewed under current tax laws as overpaid premiums being refunded to policy holders.

Because this tax favored environment exclusive to participating whole life insurance policies, is a key advantage, you understand why we tend to prefer mutual companies in our best whole life insurance companies list.

A related reason why a mutual life insurance company is preferable is because excess profits are NOT used for purposes that do not benefit the policy holders, such as large executive bonuses, which might pose a conflict if you are with a stock company. So, a mutual company eliminates this possible conflict.

Finally, the largest mutual life insurers have an AA+ rating. In contrast, the largest stock (i.e. public) companies are two ratings lower with an AA- rating. From 2008 to 2014, publicly traded insurers increased life insurance assets 1.9% a year on average, compared to 6.6% on average for mutual life insurers. (2).


Criteria 2 – Performance History

(cash value accumulation, dividend payments, loan rates)

Our top 10 best dividend paying whole life insurance companies have a solid track record for paying dividends, as we believe that this is key to providing a reliable expectation for guaranteed and potential high cash value growth.

Life insurance dividends are a key ingredient that helps your policy’s performance. You cash value remains untouched allowing true compound growth over the long term, thanks to a guaranteed interest rate and dividends.

dividends help grow your whole life policy over the long term

Here, we emphasize that the dividends are NOT guaranteed, and this fact is trumpeted often by the critics of whole life insurance.

To this we say…fine…and yet based upon history, our selected whole life insurance companies have a solid track record of continuing to pay dividends through all kinds of economic conditions and cycles, including the Great Depression and Great Recession.

Many of the best whole life companies have paid consistent dividends year in and year out for over 100 years.

Velocity of Money

We believe in the velocity of money and have found whole life to be a great “home base” for your money when it is not in use, with easy access to keep it moving when the time is ripe.

Your money in your policy is best accessed via life insurance loans. But for loans to be most effective, loan interest rates must be taken into account.

When designing a whole life policy the cost of loans vs ongoing dividend rates is a key focus because the goal is often to keep a desirable “arbitrage” on your loan rate and the asset you use your loan to purchase.

Criteria 3 – Stability

(company history, reliability)

Our top 10 best dividend paying whole life insurance companies have a solid track record for stability as we believe this is essential to maximize your “safe investment bucket“.

So we’re only focusing on well established mutual whole life insurance companies with solid financial strength and a top credit rating.

We’re using A.M. Best’s ratings as a benchmark when comparing companies…just our preference, although you’re welcome to check your rating index of choice (Fitch, Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s). A.M. Best ratings range from A++ at the top to D- at the bottom.(3)

Click the following to read more on the highest rated life insurance companies.

Criteria 4 – Flexibility

(products, design, convertibility, options for paid up additions)

Simply put, some companies are more flexible than other when it comes to premium design, paid-up additions and structuring a policy that suits your goals.

For our purposes, flexibility refers to both the availability of various riders, flexibility in allowing for paid-up additional insurance AND other ways of accommodating those seeking to maximize cash value accumulation.

At the end of the day, one HUGE factor is how accommodating the insurance company is with you maximizing your policy to build wealth.

Some insurers appear like good candidates but fail the test because of rigid “rules” that prevent you from utilizing your policy to its fullest potential.

We have chosen to avoid those providers and rather focus on insurers that do their best to help you, the insured, whenever possible.

Criteria 5 – Overall Suitability

(for strategic purposes, maximizing cash value growth)

This is where we tabulate our results and select the TOP 10 best dividend paying permanent life insurance companies . A few notes about our criteria prior to unveiling our TOP 10 list…

We didn’t include direct recognition VS non-direct recognition companies in our overall criteria for a couple of reasons.

This distinction refers to whether policy loans will negatively impact the dividend rate that is being paid on the policy cash value.. It simply means that the policy will continue perform normally, including the payment of dividends at FULL rates, regardless of the amount policy loans owed.

Although non-direct recognition companies tend to hold great reverence in certain circles as opposed to direct recognition companies, we’ve found that many direct recognition companies have a record of solid performance for cash value growth.

Our other reason for not pitting non-direct vs direct recognition companies against each other is simply that our review of the best cash value whole life insurance companies is NOT strictly based on cash value accumulation.

If YOUR EMPHASIS is simply to gain a permanent death benefit while building cash value without implementing a personal banking and financing strategy, or even if it is a bit of both, your specific circumstances may dictate that a direct recognition company is the best choice.

Nationwide (or close to it)

It is also worth mentioning that our top whole life insurance companies for building cash value are all licensed to sell whole life insurance policies in at least 40 of the 50 states.

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Best Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance Companies


Note: Although the list above breaks down our top picks in order, the company descriptions are listed in alphabetical order below.


Ameritas was founded in 1887 and is a direct recognition life insurance company that offers a fair product for wealth building strategies focusing on cash accumulation and are a good company with a stable outlook (A rating with A.M. Best).

Ameritas made our list because they are a mutual company that has a strong track record of dividends and steady growth despite their direct recognition status.

Ameritas Growth Whole Life is limited pay life insurance that allows the policy to be fully funded in 10 years. You can add a flexible paid up rider to rapidly increase cash value growth.

For more on this member of our top 10 whole life insurance companies, please check out our Ameritas Life review.


Foresters Financial logo

Foresters Financial offers one of the only participating no medical exam whole life insurance policies in the industry. You can get up to $400,000 20-Pay or Paid-Up at 100 whole life insurance without an exam.

Foresters Financial boasts an A rating with A.M. Best and is an innovator in the world of life insurance underwriting.

With a guaranteed insurability rider option, this policy must be considered when reviewing the best participating whole life insurance companies.

Foresters average dividend interest rate has remained above 6% for the past 15 years, coming in at a fantastic 6.23% for 2018. In 2019, Foresters maintained a 6% dividend rate and in 2020 the dividend rate dropped to 5.5%.

For more on this member of our best whole life insurance policies, please stop by our Foresters Financial review.


The Guardian is an extremely solid rated company (A++ superior Best), and also direct recognition, but one that is committed to the concept of treating whole life insurance as an asset.

Guardian promotes a type of cash value growth strategy among their agents, and even though they are direct recognition company, their direct recognition status hasn’t appeared to affect policy performance very much.

When it comes to accumulating cash value, Guardian’s 10 pay limited pay life insurance product is apparently their strongest offering and it must be structured properly (blended with paid up additions).

We have been advised, and pass this along to you, to watch their career agents closely if you work with them, because some tend to prefer the much less advantageous Guardian L-99 product.

It is worth mentioning that Guardian also has excellent customer service ratings AND gets extra points for flexibility because they offer many options for premium payment models.

For 2021, Guardian has announced a $1.05 billion dividend payment, with a dividend interest rate of 5.65%. Source.

For more on this member of our best dividend paying whole life insurance companies, please check out our Guardian Life review.

Lafayette Life

Lafayette Life is another non-direct recognition company that has captured a good segment of the whole life insurance purists. Among the reason for this company’s popularity are its non-direct recognition status, sound business rating (A+ A.M. Best rating) and solid track record of performance.

For us, this company doesn’t stand out like some of the other but nothing bad to say here either.

Lafayette Life’s dividend rate for 2020 is 5.3% on a total dividend payout of over $67 million.

For more on this member of our best whole life insurance companies, please stop by our Lafayette Life review.


MassMutual is a behemoth in the whole life insurance market and lingers among the top choices for all kinds of reasons which include cash value accumulation and wealth building.

MassMutual is a mutual company that is consistently among the top performers in the very important category of the history of payment of dividends. Massmutual’s whole life insurance dividend history is superb, with its 2018 dividend rate at 6.40%. And the company recently announced an estimated 2022 dividend payout of $1.85 billion, with a dividend payment of 6%. Source.

They offer a solid model for paid up additions and their 10 pay product is also very effective for maximizing cash value growth.

MassMutual also wins the coveted A.M. Best rating of A++ Superior, and makes the cut as an overall suitable whole life insurance product for anything from wealth building to securing a permanent death benefit.

It should be noted that MassMutual’s convertible term life insurance can be converted to whole life down the road. So if you are considering permanent coverage but whole life insurance quotes have you hesitant to commit, consider buying a term life policy from one of the top mutual insurance companies so you can convert to one of their top permanent policies.

Finally, MassMutual is one of the best long-term care insurance companies available. You can choose either a pure stand alone LTCi policy or a hybrid LTC insurance policy.

For more on this top whole life insurance company, check out our MassMutual review.

Minnesota Life

minnesota life insurance company reviewMinnesota Life is part of the Securian Financial Group, Inc., a holding company in which Minnesota Life is the largest of its affiliates.

The A.M. Best rating for Minnesota Life, via its parent company Securian Financial Group, Inc., is A+.

Minnesota Life offers two primary whole life policies. One is focused primarily on death benefit protection. The other is focused more on cash value growth.

Minnesota Life offers participating whole life insurance. The company has a solid dividend payout history, with its dividend rate coming in close to the top of the pack among the best dividend paying whole life policies available.

For more on this highly ranked best whole life insurance company, please check out our review of Minnesota Life Insurance Company.

Mutual Trust

mutual trust whole life insuranceMutual Trust Life Insurance Company has been around since 1904. The company markets itself as “The Whole Life Company,” and is a top mutual company providing participating life insurance.

It has provided a dividend on its participating life insurance for over 100 years.

Mutual Trust has an A rating from A.M. Best.

Its Horizon line of whole life products include Horizon Value, Horizon Guarantee, Horizon Blend and Horizon Legacy.

The company offers two different paid up additions riders, term rider, waiver of premium and a guaranteed purchase option.

For more, please visit our Mutual Trust review.

New York Life

New York Life is the largest mutual company in the United States AND one of the largest life insurers in the world. It thus goes without saying that this company has a few things figured out.

They rank number 61 on the Forbes 100 list and are A++ rated by A.M. Best.

The training and sales force at this company is top notch and their agents are highly trained in the advance (high net worth) markets. It is worth mentioning that their agents are not necessarily captive, but they will tend to promote NY Life products first.

In 2021, New York Life expects to pay participating policyholders a dividend payout of $1.8 billion, marking the 167th consecutive year the company has paid policy owners a dividend, dating back to 1854.Source.

For more on this member of our best whole life insurance companies, please check out our review of New York Life Whole Life Insurance.


OneAmericaOneAmerica and is a solid mutual company (A+ rating with A.M. Best). It offers “non-direct recognition” whole life insurance. In addition, the company offers a lot of flexibility with its paid up additions rider option on their whole life policy.

OneAmerica also offers what is called a declining paid up additions load and this means that folks can ease off the amount of paid up additions being paid. However, this can backfire because if people ease off of paid up addition, this can undermine their strategy of accruing cash value.

Indexed Dividend Crediting Option (IDO) Rider – Legacy and Legacy 121 policyholders can participate in market moves earning up to double their dividend, without sacrificing whole life guarantees.

OneAmerica plans on paying out over $31 million in dividend payments for 2021. Source.

For more on this member of our best whole life insurance companies, please check out our OneAmerica review.

Penn Mutual

PennMutual is another solid mutual company (A+ by A.M. Best) and gets very high marks in a number of areas, while also ranking as one of our top picks for early high cash value accumulation.

They are a direct recognition company, and yet the company’s whole life policy illustration and their track record of policy performance for cash accumulation is exceptional.

They ALSO score among the highest on our list for flexibility in paid up additions payment options.

Penn Mutual offers an advantageous waiver of monthly deductions rider for ages 0-55, that kicks in after a 4 month waiting period if you suffer a long-term disability. The waiver provides that, if you suffer a disability before age 60, policy premiums are waived.

Another interesting thing about this company is that their sales data reveals a large following of independent brokers as opposed to some of our other choices who operating largely through a captive sales force.

Another benefit of Penn Mutual is that most newly issued permanent policies include a living benefit chronic illness rider. The rider allows your death benefit to be accelerated to help you cover the costs of long-term care services.

Penn Mutual has had a stellar dividend interest rate in recent history versus its peers, with a 6.34% rate from 2009 – 2018, and 6.10% for 2019-2020.

For 2022, Penn Mutual is set to payout of $123 million to eligible policyholders with a dividend interest rate of 5.75%.

For more on this dividend paying whole life insurance company, please check out Penn Mutual review.

Honorable Mentions

Northwestern Mutual

northwestern mutual life insuranceNorthwestern Mutual is the current reigning champion as the highest rated life insurance company in the U.S. (A++ superior by A.M. Best) that is extremely committed to maintaining financial strength.

This is reflected to their whole life products, which are best summarized as nothing too flashy but dependable with a solid track record of gains and dividend payment. They also, like Guardian, have a commitment to excellent customer service.

In 2021, the company announced a $6.2 billion dividend payment with an interest payment of 5%,

For us, Northwestern Mutual is a non-starter because the company only allows captive agents to write policies.

For more on this highest rated whole life insurance company, please check out our review of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance.


MetLife is a “de-mutualized” stock company, putting it in the very minority position as our lone stock company among the mutuals.

It’s rating for its life insurance subsidiaries is A+ with A.M. Best, and we consider MetLife in the running for dividend paying whole life insurance despite the fact that it isn’t a mutual company for a few reasons.

First, despite having de-mutualized, they’ve shown a strong interest in staying competitive in the dividend paying whole life market. Years ago, they introduced a number of Promise Whole Life products with the apparent intent to beat Northwestern Mutual on price.

Then, around 2013, MetLife revealed a number of products that were actually focused on cash performance and shortened payment terms. These products appear to be solid performing income generators.

Their products, such as paid up 65 AND 10 pay are solid, although perhaps not as flexible with respect to design features as some of our TOP 10 choices above.

In 2017, MetLife’s dividend rate on its Promise Whole Life was 4.70%, down from 5% in 2016.

Ohio National

Ohio National logoUpdate: As of March 2021, Ohio National announced plans to demutalize the company. As a result, we will no longer recommend Ohio National as a top company. Source.

Ohio National is a solid mutual company (A+ by A.M. Best) that has consistently gained high recognition as a strong contender for offering policies that foster cash accumulation.

Although they are a non-direct recognition company, in recent years they’ve been edged out by some of our other choices for a few reasons. They seem to lack some flexibility for paid up addition, although they may claim otherwise.

Another apparent issue is that, similar to Guardian, many of the agents promote certain whole life products that may not be as advantageous for cash accumulation as some of their other products.

We suggest that it is important to do your homework when looking at their offerings in order to discern the best product to meet your goals.

In 2021, Ohio National plans on paying out around $100 million in dividends with a 4.7% dividend rate. Source.

For more on this member of our best whole life insurance, please visit our Ohio National review.


Review of Assurity Life InsuranceAssurity is another mutual organization offering participating whole life insurance. One of the distinct advantages with Assurity’s LifeScape whole life insurance is that it offers some great riders, such as:

Monthly Disability Income Rider which pays you $300 to $3,000 if you become totally disabled.

Critical Illness Benefit Rider which pays you a lump sum from $20,000 to $150,000 if you suffer from a qualifying major illness such as hearth attack, stroke or cancer.

Assurity paid $17.4 Million in dividends to participating policyholders in 2015.

Probably the one disadvantage of Assurity is its lower A.M. Best rating of A-.

For more info on this whole life insurance company, please visit our Assurity Life Insurance review.

Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance Rates

Inevitably, the question of how much does whole life insurance cost comes up. Our focus on these top whole life insurance companies is on the cash accumulation feature, more so than the death benefit.

We target high cash surrender values in the early going so you can utilize the policy’s cash value for other financial endeavors. As a result, the best whole life insurance rates are not achieved when you compare a cash value focused policy vs a death benefit focused policy.

If you want to find cheap whole life insurance premiums we can help you there. Just know that the lower the whole life insurance premiums the lower the cash value accumulation growth in the early years.

And if you are concerned about having a large death benefit, but wary of the high price tag, you can always supplement your life insurance death benefit coverage with a term life rider. In doing so, you lock into a valuable cash value whole life policy, that allows the cash value to “catch up” with the death benefit.

Take note, you can get a whole life insurance illustration that will provide you with more accurate numbers. Simply give us a call for your personalized illustration.

Whole Life Insurance Dividends Chart

Our whole life dividend chart information is gathered from public sources we deem reliable. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.

Life Insurance Dividend Rates
Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company6.346.346.346.346.346.16.15.755.755.756.12
New York Life Insurance Company66.
Ohio National6665.755.*
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America6.
Northwestern Mutual5.65.65.4554.9555555.16
Lafayette Life5.
Foresters Financial6.426.656.836.586.2365.85.255.8N/A6.17**
MetLife / Brighthouse5.***
Minnesota Life55.255554.834.63
National Life Group5.755.755.755.755.

*Ohio National through 2021 when demutualized
**Foresters rates through dividend payment to policyholders of record in 2022
***MetLife / Brighthouse through 2020

Dividends of the Top Participating Whole Life Insurance Companies 2014 to (Feb) 2023
Dividend payments – total dividend amounts
Average dividend rate %
CompanyTotal Dividend Payments 2014 to (Feb) 2023“Dividend Rate %
(10 year average from 2014 to Feb. 2023)”
MassMutual$16.96 billion6.50%
Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company$828.4 million6.12%
New York Life Insurance Company$17.61 billion6.03%
Ohio National$672.8 million (est)5.66%*
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America$9.57 billion5.86%
Northwestern Mutual$57.6 billion5.16%
Lafayette Life5.20%
Foresters Financial6.17%**

*Ohio National figures from 2014 to 2021. Company demutualized from 2022 forward
**Foresters Financial rates through 2022
***MetLife / Brighthouse rates through 2020

Life Insurance Dividend Amounts
Penn Mutual33.2M41.2M48M58M70M87M100M105M123M163M
New York Life1.37B1.56B1.7B1.8B1.78B1.8B1.9B1.8B1.9B2.0B
Ohio National59.1M68.1M80.6M75M90M100M100M100MN/AN/A
Northwestern Mutual5.2B5.5B5.6B5.2B5.3B5.3B6B6.2B6.5B6.8B
Lafayette Life67.3M68M70.9M
Foresters Financial23.7M24.3M24.4M24M
National Life Group67M26.5M

Whole Life Insurance Pros and Cons

You can check out our article covering whole life insurance pros and cons. A brief snapshot is provided below.

Best Whole Life Insurance Pros
  • Guaranteed Death Benefit
  • Guaranteed Cash Value Growth
  • Guaranteed Fixed Premium
  • Dividends Payments
    • Paid Up Additions
    • Increase Long-Term Care Benefit
  • Tax Advantaged Asset
  • Non-Correlated Asset
Best Whole Life Insurance Cons
  • Initially More Expensive than Term Life
  • Proper Design is Essential
Best Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance Conclusion

And there you go, our Top 10 best dividend paying whole life insurance companies list with reviews.

Many of the companies listed above offer a fantastic “safe bucket” from which to operate your financial foundation from. Having a stable environment, free from the ebbs and flows of the stock market, is a great way to put your emotions in check and make logical, coherent financial decisions.

And who knows, perhaps in the next major market downturn you will choose to take out a policy loan from your stable cash value policy and use it to invest in depressed assets, such as dividend producing stocks or cash flow real estate, or as an alternative source of retirement income to protect against sequence of returns risk.

But the point not to be missed is this—with dividend paying whole life insurance, you have a stable financial foundation from which to make your financial decisions. The value of such a product is incalculable.

Next Steps

We hope our article has been informative and serves as useful guide in your search for the right participating whole life policy. For more insight concerning any or all of our above choices OR for feedback on any whole life insurance coverage concern, please feel free to leave a comment or question below. Additionally, please check out our resources page for e-books, webinars, and additional learning. Finally, please schedule a meeting if you wish to move forward and speak to a member of our Pro Team.

54 comments… add one
  • William June 12, 2017, 3:48 pm

    What was Assurity life’s dividend rate?

  • Bob Cunningham January 26, 2018, 4:06 pm

    I’m looking to utilize my blog to teach a combination of sound personal finance principles, geared toward young adults/families, with the advanced strategy of using DPWLI as the primary wealth-builder. How can I best get the word out, and potentially become an affiliate resource. Currently, I am indirectly affiliated only with Lafayette Life.

    • Insurance&Estates January 29, 2018, 10:24 am

      Hi Bob, its great to hear that you’re doing this and we’re excited that you contacted us because education is a huge part of our mission. I would love to talk more with you about exploring an affiliate relationship that would be mutually beneficial. We are contracted with a number of great companies that support a personal banking type approach. Go ahead and e-mail us with a good contact phone number and I’ll reach out to you. Thank you. Steve Gibbs, Esq.

  • Mark April 5, 2018, 5:30 pm

    Are you able to write for all 10 companies?

    • Insurance&Estates April 6, 2018, 7:52 am


      The information in our Rankings is provided strictly as a source of information for our visitors and is provided merely as a convenience. It represents our opinion and analysis based on subjective and objective criteria.

      Some of the companies require you to be a captive agent. For example, we cannot write Northwestern Mutual. Other companies have a minimum threshold that must be reached before they allow a non-captive agent to write a policy with them.

      Having said that, we can write for the majority of the companies listed.



  • Burt July 24, 2018, 9:04 am

    I’m a NY resident, probably uninsurable. I’d like to consider DPWLI for my daughter (NY resident) and daughter-in-law (CA resident). Please advise which of your 10 recommendations can write in each of NY and CA. Death benefit is not important. Cash Value is important.
    Would prefer policies allowing me to pay in first year for minimum number of years to have the policy fully paid-up. Your advice will be appreciated.

    • Insurance&Estates July 25, 2018, 12:51 pm


      Some policies allow for a 7-Pay period, focused on cash value growth. It simply depends on the carrier and how the policy is structured.

      We will send a reply email to the contact you provided.



  • Mark Liu August 20, 2018, 10:15 am

    I am interested in finding a bank on yourself authorized advisor to have a free personalized solution of a dividend paying whole life policy, who can serve a client in GA.
    I would appreciate it if you could help with that.


    • Insurance&Estates August 21, 2018, 6:53 am

      Hi Mark,

      Please look for our reply to the contact information you provided.



  • Matthew D. November 11, 2018, 1:15 pm

    What was the actual dividend paid, not what was announced, by the companies listed? I like the post. I worked for Northwestern Mutual and am a policyholder. I remember reading some literature on more than one occasion that Mass Mutual in particular typically announces a higher dividend, but rarely pays it. Do you all have any information on this, or where I could obtain it? Thanks!

    • Insurance&Estates November 11, 2018, 5:49 pm

      Hi Matthew, thanks for your interest and excellent questions. I will run this through our team pipeline and see what the response is.

      Best to you.

      Steve Gibbs

  • Matthew D. November 11, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Also, shouldn’t the focus be on guaranteed and non-guaranteed growth in cash value rather than dividend rates? Thanks!

    • Insurance&Estates November 11, 2018, 5:52 pm

      Matthew, another solid question. My personal opinion is that dividend rates are instructive as a measure of performance as are the other measures that you noted. That said, there are many theories and opinions about dividend rates and so your question doesn’t lend itself to an easy response. Again, will run this through across our sales team and will follow up with anything definitive.



  • LARRY MORTIMER April 22, 2019, 10:09 pm


    • Insurance&Estates April 23, 2019, 1:20 pm

      Hello Larry, thank you for your helpful and, yes, common question. IF you’re reasonably health, it is generally never too late to build an effective wealth building and death benefit strategy with permanent life insurance. I forwarded your question to Jason Herring, our product and design expert and he will gladly discuss your concerns and options at your convenience. Please feel free to send him an e-mail message at jason@insuranceandestates.com to schedule an initial conversation.

      Best, Steve Gibbs

  • Fran April 26, 2019, 12:53 pm

    Am 72 yrs old, in good health, living in CA, how much premium wd buy a $500k coverage of IBC ins. payable in 15 yrs, & which is the best Ins. Co to get in? Tnx for any informative needed response.

  • Dave July 21, 2019, 5:37 am

    I’m surprised to see you analyzed dividend rates but there seems to be some companies that show a net of fees rate like say a northwestern (universally understood to pay the most dividends) but you have some that show the gross rate, misleading a reader potentially. Any thoughts on that?

    • Insurance&Estates July 22, 2019, 7:21 am

      Hello Dave, thanks for pointing out that dividend rates can be misleading and thus misused. That of course is not our intent as we are not attempting to promote (sell) a company or policy to someone in our articles but rather providing general information to benefit the consumer. That said, I also think that virtually every aspect of whole life insurance has been targeted and often demonized by the financial industry (i.e. dividend rates) and even among life insurance companies the dividend issue is a hotbed for debate between companies. We will continue to strive to educate the consumer so they can make the most informed decision possible. Those are my thoughts.

      Best to you.

      Steve Gibbs for I & E

  • Del July 29, 2019, 11:14 pm

    What, is the normal cost of an advisers fee for the structuring of a Personal bank financial strategy?


  • Kevin June 2, 2020, 3:45 pm

    I heard one advisor tell a client to pull money out of his cash value life insurance (10pay)to put into the stock market. If you had 400k in cash value and it grew with dividends and a dividend interest rate add in paid up additions. Does that make sense? If you don’t need the death bene fine but the cash value grows at suck a rapid rate after your pay period is over? thoughts?

    • Insurance&Estates June 3, 2020, 2:25 pm

      Hello Kevin, I think you answered your own question. An “advisor” told the client to do this – any conflict there perhaps (even for a fee based advisor)? Highly irresponsible advice in my humble opinion for many reasons including the huge benefit of permanent life insurance AND the tax advantages related to the cash value to name a couple.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • Clarc King July 3, 2020, 6:27 pm

    Great information. I need more information on the benefits of direct recognition vs non-direct recognition.


    Clarc King

    • Insurance&Estates July 7, 2020, 12:08 pm

      Hello Clarc, thanks for your comment. I suggest you connect with Barry Brooksby on this issue at barry@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs, for I&E

  • C. April 8, 2021, 7:30 pm

    I am about to go with northwestern mutual, but it looks like in your chart of dividends that Mass Mutual did the best? So, do I walk away? I just want to be sure in the company I put my money. I did alot of research and thought northwestern is the best out there. Excuse me for my lack of knowledge, new to this and just want to find best for my money and stick there for life.

    • Insurance&Estates April 17, 2021, 3:05 pm

      Hello, I would encourage you to do a comparison with some other “non-captive” major companies such as Mass and/or Penn Mutual. Northwestern claims to be the best; however, there may be better choices to consider. If you’re interested in comparing, connect with Barry Brooksby at barry@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs, for I&E

  • André Mangabeira May 12, 2021, 3:49 am

    Does all of those companies accept international clients? I’m very interested in IBC and also becoming affiliate to promote this kind of structure in Brazil.

    • Insurance&Estates May 18, 2021, 1:29 pm

      Hello Andre’, our IBC Pro is Barry Brooksby and I’ve forwarded your inquiry to him. You can also reach out at barry@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • Mike Ramsey May 21, 2021, 11:45 am

    Please recommend a DPWLI company that will write policy for 100k on an almost two year old.
    Thank you.

    • Insurance&Estates May 25, 2021, 12:48 pm

      Hello Mike, I forwarded your request to Barry Brooksby and you are welcome to reach out to him directly also at barry@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • Heather strong October 8, 2021, 12:38 am

    Interesting stuff here, I’m 30 years old 2 kids does bad credit affect having life insurance? I started a long term job that will pay well after a bit of time a safety net is a life goal for me during and after if life, Any tips ? Currently in Washington.

    • Insurance&Estates October 17, 2021, 2:11 pm

      Hello Heather, thanks for checking in! Your ideal next step is to chat with our high cash value expert Barry Brooksby, as he can give you more details about the impact of credit and income, etc., though credit alone shouldn’t dramatically impact your obtaining life insurance. You can email him to request a call at barry@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • Jason F August 16, 2022, 2:40 am

    Hello, 22 year old here looking towards finding a whole life insurance to treat as an asset to start building my financial portfolio. I am interested in using the insurance as a means of obtaining properties that I can rent out eventually. Is whole life insurance the best option for this, or would something like term life insurance be better? Also should I wait until I get a bit older for this or is the earlier the better?

    • Insurance&Estates August 16, 2022, 12:07 pm

      Hello Jason, thanks for connecting. Term life would offer you no benefits for your stated goal as it does not accrue cash value. You’re on the right track with mutual dividend paying whole life that is properly designed.

      To learn more, connect with Denise Boisvert at denise@insuranceandestates.com to request a call.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • Thomas Crosby November 7, 2022, 6:48 pm

    What to offer an whole life with divided to my agents

    708 597 8731 x 108

    • SJG November 8, 2022, 8:02 am

      Hi Thomas, thanks for connecting. The best way to get more concrete feedback is to schedule a zoom call with Barry Brooksby who offers agent training, etc. You can email him at barry@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

  • stuart dunn January 7, 2023, 4:41 am

    Wow i wished i had been taught this at school
    my question is Are these policies only for the USA or can i obtain these in the UK
    I’m getting on a bit now but i am interested in the whole life compound interest account
    Stu Dunn

    • SJG January 10, 2023, 10:40 am

      Hello Stuart and thanks for reaching out. A good next step is to reach out to our IBC expert Denise to request a call at denise@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

  • Kyle Cowart January 28, 2023, 8:39 pm

    Do you have agents in Arkansas? I have been reading up on the Bank On Yourself approach. Sounds very appealing.

    • SJG January 30, 2023, 7:54 am

      Hi Kyle, our IBC experts are licensed in all 50 states. If you’re interested in scheduling a conversation, go ahead and email Denise Boisvert at denise@insuranceandestates.com.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

      Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
      license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

  • Edwin Manzano February 1, 2023, 6:44 pm

    Hello, I’m Edwin, 30 years old and I’m a felon, not sure if that plays a part when it comes to the underwriting of insurance but pretty much I went to prison for armed robbery. I’m working a min. wage job right now. Would you be able to help? Thanks!

    • SJG February 2, 2023, 7:52 am

      Hello Edwin, we have a sister website actually with an article addressing your situation: ARTICLE LINKED HERE

      You can then request a quote on that site if you would like to talk with an agent.

      Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

      Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
      license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

  • Jeremy February 20, 2023, 1:49 pm

    Awfully biases saying Northwestern Mutual is only an honorable mention because of their exclusive distribution. NM pays more in dividends than every other carrier. Just because you aren’t able to offer their policies does not make them inferior… it simply means you have your own biases.

    • Insurance&Estates February 21, 2023, 9:46 am

      Being an honorable mention does not mean NW Mutual is inferior. They are a good company and if you have a policy or are a NW Mutual agent, good for you. They certainly are a highly rated life insurance company. And the company may pay out a larger dividend in terms of dollars but the dividend rate is lower than other mutual insurance companies.

      Best, Steve Gibbs

      Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
      license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

    • Alison April 1, 2023, 12:05 am

      Totally agree Jeremy. No one came close to payout to the consumers then NWM
      6.8 B in 2023 they announced!

      • Steven Gibbs April 5, 2023, 9:09 am

        Thanks for commenting. One thing to consider is the gross amount of dividends paid can be misleading because the large number of NW Mutual policy holders, just something to note.


        Steve Gibbs for I&E

        if you haven’t already connected, I recommend that you connect with our IUL expert Jason Herring by emailing him at jason@insuranceandestates.com. Jason works regularly with Mutual of Omaha as well.

        Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E

        Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
        license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

        Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
        Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
        LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
        UT agent #655544.

        • Jack April 13, 2023, 12:56 pm

          If you are going to have a fair and non-biased article on this, you as an agent should disclose that DIR can be illustrated without accounting for expenses and mortality. Mass, Penn, and every other company on the list (which you can sell), shows a gross DIR. NM factors in Mortality and expenses before reporting. If you look up any report on actual cash value growth over 20, 30 or 40 years, NM will outperform every time. Objective math, which deserves more than a “mention”.

          • Steven Gibbs April 14, 2023, 8:56 am

            Hello Jack, thanks for your comment and I have to say that we get at least one passionate response concerning NW Mutual a month. I’m very familiar with NW mutual as my uncle was a top producer there and I had quite a few discussions with him in my youth. In response to your comment, in the battle for dollars, these passionate responses aren’t surprising, especially given NW Mutual’s culture. To be sure, NW Mutual is an outstanding company with a huge track record in the high cash value whole life arena and I respect the history and commitment of the company greatly. With this in mind, your contention is, however, very hard to swallow for a few reasons. First, this isn’t the first time someone has suggested that NW Mutual’s approach to reporting of dividends somehow is a game changer. The last one I heard was concerning NW Mutuals large gross dividend numbers, attempting to make the case that because NW Mutual pays more dividends to policy holders and this equates to policy growth, etc. This contention failed to consider the number of policy holders with NW mutual policies vs smaller mutuals – gross numbers do not tell the entire tale.

            What you’re now saying, as far as I understand it, is that NW Mutual is the ONLY mutual company that factors in mortality and costs when illustrating dividends. My first natural question, is how do you know that other mutuals are NOT accounting for mortality and costs in illustrating dividend rates AND, a related question, assuming your contention about NW mutual’s approach is true, are they doing this differently simply due to higher ethical standards, even to the extent of hindering their competitive advantage concerning other mutual WL competitors? My guess is that you may not be able to answer this question; however, I would be interested to hear your feedback in precise detail as to why NW mutual does this differently and also exactly how you’ve determined that NO other mutual WL competitor factors in costs or mortality in illustrating dividends?

            Another factor that I think is important is that NW Mutual’s cost is arguably higher than most other mutual WL companies due to the company’s massive budget. Mass Mutual would also be in this camp. My observation is that other top WL mutuals are often leaner and meaner and my belief is that some of this equates to your observation of costs. In summary, I applaud you advocating for high cash value mutual whole life in general as we both would agree it is a powerful asset. And, to reiterate, NW mutual, as we always say, is a top tier company. I’m responding in detail just to encourage more dialogue and draw out any nuggets of truth. I do personally try to avoid grandiose sales hype and, in a world of highly polarized opinions, try to stay with facts only. Thanks again for commenting and I will welcome any further factual feedback.

            Best, Steve Gibbs for I&E
            Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
            license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

            Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
            Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
            LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
            UT agent #655544.

  • carl kielbasa June 12, 2023, 3:44 am

    I own 3 policies, purchased 10 years ago, from Mutual Trust. They were sold to Pan American Life and recently I received notification that they are De-Mutualizing. I cannot get any information from their customer service folks on how this will affect current contracts moving forward; will a dividend be paid annually? My suspicion is that it won’t. However, I am wondering if you had any insight on this? Thank you!

    • Steven Gibbs June 29, 2023, 8:59 am

      Hello Carl,

      It is true that companies can de-mutualize and I think you’re asking a very valid question. However, it would be more appropriate to have a policy review with one of our whole life experts. If you’re interested in this, I suggest that you connect with Barry by explaining your concerns and requesting a call at barry@insuranceandestates.com.


      Steve Gibbs for I&E

      Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
      license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

  • Steven Johnson February 7, 2024, 10:20 am

    What about State Farm Mutual Life? My policy consistently pays a nice dividend. I recently read literature that State Farm paid $903 Mil in dividends last year.

    • Insurance&Estates February 8, 2024, 6:22 pm

      Hi Steven,

      Thank you for the comment. State Farm is a great mutual insurance company and we have nothing negative to say about it. Two things we would point out though are that State Farm is a captive agent company, meaning only State Farm agents can offer State Farm whole life insurance. And the second thing we would mention is that State Farm is not known as one of the top dividend paying whole life insurance companies in terms of the dividend rate paid to policyowners.

      All the Best,

      Steve Gibbs for I&E

      Steven Gibbs is a licensed insurance agent, and the following agent
      license numbers of Steven Gibbs are provided as required by state law:

      Resident License; AZ agent #17508301,
      Non-resident Licenses: TX agent #2273189, CA agent #0K10610,
      LA agent #769583, MA agent #2049963, MN agent #40563357,
      UT agent #655544.

  • Erika Waldo February 11, 2024, 8:16 am

    I am with New York life and I am not a captive agent, I am independent. So that’s not 100% true that everyone is captive at NYL

    • Insurance&Estates February 11, 2024, 2:25 pm

      Thank you for your feedback. And yes, you are correct, you can write NY Life and not be captive and NY Life agents can write other products besides NY Life.

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