(redirected from tontines)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial.
Related to tontines: Tontine Annuity


An organization of individuals who enter into an agreement to pool sums of money or something of value other than money, permitting the last survivor of the group to take everything.

The holders of tontine life insurance contracts enter into an agreement to pay premiums for a certain amount of time before they gain the right to acquire dividends. In the event that a policyholder dies during the tontine policy, his or her beneficiary will be entitled to benefits, but no dividends. The earnings that ordinarily would be used to pay dividends are accumulated during the tontine period and subsequently given only to policyholders who are still alive at the end of the term. This type of policy is known as a dividend-deferred policy. A number of states proscribe such policies.


n. a rare agreement among several persons, who agree that each will invest in an annuity and the last to die will receive the remaining assets and profits.


a scheme for raising money by which the lenders receive an annuity for life that increases as the other investors die until the last survivor receives the total of all the annuities.

TONTINE, French law. The name of a partnership composed of creditors or, recipients of perpetual or life-rents or annuities, formed on the condition that the rents of those who may die, shall accrue to the survivors, either in whole or in part.
     2. This kind of partnership took its name from Tonti, an Italian, who first conceived the idea and put it in practice. Merl. Repert. h.t. Dall. Dict. h.t.; 5 Watts, 851.

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Tontine health insurance would pay a cash bonus to those who turn out to be right in their belief that they did not really "need" insurance after all.
Tontine life insurance emerged in the United States in the mid-19th century and became a resoundingly successful alternative to traditional life insurance.
Tontine life insurance was wildly popular and companies selling tontine policies became the largest financial institutions of their day.
A tontine health insurance policy would pay a deferred dividend to a policyholder who maintains his or her health insurance for a specified period--we suggest three years, but this is an arbitrary number that could easily be changed based on market research.
The availability of the tontine "prize" balances out the young invincibles' unwarranted undervaluation of the insurance.
We will call the prize a deferred dividend and market tontine health insurance as a tool that helps young people save for the future.
Tontine health insurance can help to mitigate this problem.
DESIGN OPTIONS If we are to be true to the tontine idea, then the payoff in the good state of the world should be a deferred dividend paid to people who did not otherwise use their insurance, rather than a monthly prize or other lottery for which all policyholders are eligible.
Analytically, the components of a tontine policy are the eligibility threshold (what it takes to qualify for the prize), the size of the prize itself, the duration of the eligibility period, and the size of the premium.