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A benevolent insurance company is a benevolent association, formed primarily for social and charitable purposes and for securing efficient mutual aid for their members. They issue death certificates which are, in effect, policies of life insurance.
Such societies are rather of a philanthropic or benevolent character, their beneficial features may be of a narrow or restricted character; but the principle upon which they rest is founded in the considerations mentioned. [Northwestern Masonic Aid Ass'n v. Jones, 154 Pa. 99, 104 (Pa. 1893)].
The great underlying purpose of a benevolent insurance company is not to indemnify or to secure against loss: its design is to accumulate a fund from the contributions of its members, for beneficial or protective purposes, to be used in their own aid or relief, in the misfortunes of sickness, injury, or death. [Commonwealth ex rel. Attorney Gen. v. Equitable Beneficial Ass'n, 137 Pa. 412 (Pa. 1890)].