WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 10, 2012) – Aviva USA has introduced a new life insurance rider that provides increased flexibility to customers purchasing select Indexed Universal Life policies. The Aviva Accelerated Access rider allows customers who are diagnosed with a chronic illness quick access to funds from the policy’s death benefit.

This concept of “living benefits” – a payout of death benefits in advance as critical health needs arise – meets the growing demand from consumers facing unexpected and increasing costs associated with their illness.

“For years, we have led the industry in Indexed Universal Life insurance and in finding ways to help protect our customers’ financial condition,” said Chris Jones, Aviva USA chief marketing officer. “Our Wellness for Life rider rewards you for living a healthy lifestyle, and the new Accelerated Access rider offers a financial safety net should chronic illness occur later. Bundled together, the two riders can help provide options and a financial contingency plan.”

With the Accelerated Access rider, a customer certified as chronically ill by his or her physician and who meets all eligibility requirements may access a majority of the life insurance policy’s death benefit, generally on a tax-free basis. The proceeds can be used by the policyholder to help pay for costs incurred in living with their condition – including nursing home costs, family care, assisted living, adult daycare, home health care or toward their mortgage.

“Our new rider differs from Long-Term Care insurance in that it can be more affordable and flexible, and provide a death benefit while helping to meet the costs associated with the care a customer may need,” said Jones. “This takes a burden off an individual with a critical health issue. Coupled with our Wellness for Life rider, it makes Aviva’s Indexed Universal Life offering unmatched.”

According to AARP, 70 million Americans age 50 and older suffer from at least one chronic condition, and 11 million live with five or more chronic conditions. While not all potential chronic conditions will meet the requirements of riders like Aviva’s, due to medical advances that extend life expectancy, the demand for funds to live with a chronic condition will only increase.

“There’s a real tax benefit here, which is important from my customers’ point of view. Because it is tied into the life insurance policy, the payments a customer receives through the Accelerated Access rider are generally tax-free,” said Ken Smith of Central Financial Group, an Aviva agent. “And, customers who use the rider can be confident that they can maintain direct control of the death benefit, who receives it, what it is used for and know that, in most cases, at least $20,000 of death benefit will always remain.”

Other consumer advantages include the ease with which customers can receive benefits that can be used toward care-related expenses, limited paperwork to sign up for the rider and, once benefits are accessed, no need for receipts to be turned in for qualifying expenses. Additionally, as Aviva USA developed the rider and researched consumer demand, it focused on ways to remove the traditional waiting period found in similar chronic care products.  

“There’s security in knowing money is available to meet unplanned expenses facing customers with a chronic illness,” said Jones. “The rider is just one more way we recognize our customers’ individual financial needs, and what we mean by building insurance around you.”

Aviva USA recommends discussing the benefits of the Aviva Accelerated Access rider with a life insurance professional. More information about the Aviva Accelerated Access rider can be found on avivausa.com.