NU Online News Service, July 30, 2004, 5:11 p.m. EDT

Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company, Glenview, Ill., is ending new sales of fully underwritten impaired risk life insurance today.[@@]

The company will continue to support impaired risk life policies that are already in force, but it has stopped taking applications for the EZ Plans policies and the EZ Term policy. The company also has shut down units that have considered applications from consumers who have diabetes or test positive for HIV.

GTL has decided to focus on simplified underwriting programs because the cost of acquiring business through the impaired risk underwriting program is too high, the company says.

GTL is terminating agent contracts for impaired risk products, but it says it will continue to pay commissions based on the agent contracts that have been in effect up until today.

GTL might sell the impaired risk block to another carrier, but the move will not affect contractual obligations to agents, policyholder benefits or policyholder premiums, the company says.