A sales charge assessed by life insurance companies on life insurance policies. The specific load is not disclosed; instead, the purchaser of the policy is told what amount of the first year’s premium will go to build the cash value of the insurance policy. This indirectly shows what sales loads are taken out of the premium payment. Another hidden load that may come as a surprise to investors who don’t read the fine print of their prospectus is charges assessed on their mutual funds. One example of a “hidden” load is the 12b-1 fee that is assessed annually as a percentage of the fund’s assets. The fee covers marketing and distribution expenses and typically it is under 1%.