A segregated fund is similar to a mutual fund, but offered by a life insurance company. The assets of the fund are segregated from the other assets of the company and invest in equities, bonds, real estate, mortgages and money market instruments similar to a mutual fund. Segregated funds also have access to a well-diversified portfolio of securities and professional asset managers.
Additionally, segregated funds provide protective features including death benefit and maturity guarantees, potential creditor protection, and income guarantees. Segregated funds are offered through insurance companies and therefore offer excellent estate benefits. Specifically, they provide the ability of the proceeds at death to privately pass directly to designated beneficiaries, without the time delay and expense of probate.