Mutual offices have no shareholders or stockholders and are owned by the people who have taken out policies with them. They are, in effect, associations of the policyholders who are themselves the proprietors of the company. All those who have effected with-profits policies are entitled to share in the profits. The insurance company will not share out all the profits but will make proper provision for reserves to be held for future contingencies.

Most of the active mutual life assurance companies have had their head offices in Scotland.