NU Online News Service, Nov. 4, 2003, 11:35 a.m. EST – The Guardian Life Insurance Company, New York, has introduced a universal life insurance policy.

Guardian, which says the policy is its first UL product, is issuing the policy through its Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America subsidiary.

Built-in features include a policy maturity age of 121 and a five-year, no-lapse guarantee for policyowners who meet minimum premium payment standards.

In the past, most life insurance policies matured at age 100, or even earlier. An advanced maturity age protects older insureds against the possibility that policies will cause tax headaches by maturing while the insureds are still alive, Guardian says.

Options include a Secondary Guarantee Coverage rider, which guarantees that a policy will stay in force even if a policyowner’s account balance goes to zero; a choice of two waiver riders that can cover insurance costs in the event of disability; a Guaranteed Insurability Option that lets a policyowner increase the face amount of the policy on certain policy anniversaries, without additional medical exams; and an adjustable Annual Renewable Term rider that adds an annually renewable level death benefit to the base policy.

The renewable term rider coverage can be up to four times the face amount of the base policy.

Business purchasers can buy a rider that will let a new owner or key employee replace a departing owner, partner or key employee as the insured.

Guardian also is offering three options for death benefit payments. One provides a level death benefit equal to the policy’s total face amount. A second provides a variable benefit equal to the sum of the policy’s total face amount and the policy account value, and a third provides a benefit equal to the policy’s total face amount plus the net amount of any premiums that have accumulated.