NU Online News Service, March 10, 2004, 4:24 p.m. EST – Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, is trying to cut red tape for business owners who need disability insurance.[@@]

The company has introduced the Principal Simplified Overhead Expense program and the Principal Simplified Disability Buy-Out program.

The overhead expense program can help owners of small or midsize businesses cover the cost of some fixed business expenses while they are out.

The disability buy-out program provides funds that able-bodied business owners can use to buy out owners who suffer long-term disabilities.

Principal is not guaranteeing that it will issue coverage to all applicants, but it says it will be selling coverage through the programs without imposing routine medical requirements.

The company will try to make underwriting decisions within 48 hours after it receives all required information.

The company will not require income verification for overhead expense cases, and it has set a relatively generous $6,000 maximum limit on monthly benefits.