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LifeAccess Accelerated Benefit Rider: Hartford Life Insurance Co.

What It Is

The life insurance rider gives a policyholder, who is certified as chronically ill by a licensed health care practitioner and otherwise meets the terms of the rider, access to up to 100% of the death benefit of their life insurance policy.

Why It Is Different

The Hartford invented the LifeAccess Accelerated Benefit Rider and earned a patent in 2011. Like an indemnity, the rider begins paying once the client is certified as chronically ill. The benefits can be used for any expense--to pay a family member to provide care, to buy groceries, to make a home handicapped-accessible, for professional care, medical supplies or medication, etc. No receipts are required. The rider is more affordable than long-term care insurance and its price will not fluctuate. Clients will not "lose" the benefit if they do not "use" the benefit. The client's heir will receive the life insurance policy's death benefit if the value of the policy was not accessed.

How They Did It

"We first started to consider a chronic illness benefit in 2006. At that time, the prominent offerings in our marketplace were long-term care riders filed under health insurance regulations. We did not have the infrastructure in place to support the regulatory requirements of health insurance and we did not feel comfortable pursuing this path. However, the market opportunity was significant and we needed to find a benefit that we could offer that met the regulatory definition of a life insurance benefit. The rider allows clients to use the benefit for home care because that is where care is usually delivered. It does not require receipts or any tracking of expenses because we wanted to make it easy to use. Working with gerontologists from the MIT AgeLab, our product, legal, training and operations teams developed LifeAccess to allow clients to access the death benefit of their insurance policy when they need it most. The marketing and training teams continue to partner with distribution to promote the LifeAccess rider with our firm partners through ongoing speaking engagements as well as creating new marketing materials for producers to use with their clients."

Measuring Success

Sales are approximately double the original projections. Since its inception in 2007, sales of the rider have steadily increased. In the first quarter of 2011, sales of the rider increased by 49% and in the second quarter by 86%. Approximately 30% of current life insurance sales include the LifeAccess rider. Because women typically live longer than men and earn less, they are often alone and with limited resources later in life. Therefore, many women gravitate to LifeAccess, and now account for approximately 55% of the rider's sales. The LifeAccess rider is approved in 46 states.

Expert Review

"This product allows access to a pool of dollars dedicated to helping families cope when loved ones need the most help and tend to use significant portions of their wealth. The no-strings attached, no receipt or limitations make this rider innovative and unique to The Hartford."


Craig Lemoine, who holds the Jarrett L. Davis Distinguished Professorship in Financial Planning Technology at The American College
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Title Annotation:INNOVATIORS SHOWCASE: Life Underwriting
Publication:Best's Review
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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