The Collaborative International Dictionary
Tontine insurance \Ton*tine" in*su"rance\ (Life Insurance) Insurance in which the benefits of the insurance are distributed upon the tontine principle. Under the old, or
full tontine, plan, all benefits were forfeited on lapsed policies, on the policies of those who died within the tontine period only the face of the policy was paid without any share of the surplus, and the survivor at the end of the tontine period received the entire surplus. This plan of tontine insurance has been replaced in the United States by the
semitontine plan, in which the surplus is divided among the holders of policies in force at the termination of the tontine period, but the reverse for the paid-up value is paid on lapsed policies, and on the policies of those that have died the face is paid. Other modified forms are called free tontine, deferred dividend, etc., according to the nature of the tontine arrangement.
n. a form of life insurance whereby on the death or default of a participant his share is distributed to the remaining members [syn: tontine]