NU Online News Service, Aug. 17, 2004, 3:25 p.m. EDT

The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, New York, is making special efforts to help policyholders affected by Hurricane Charley and related storms.[@@]

Equitable, a unit of AXA S.A., Paris, will extend the grace period for payment of life premiums and policy loan interest for grace periods that expire between Aug. 13 and Sept. 10. Policyholders can delay their payments by up to 60 days without penalty, Equitable says.

Equitable also has arranged to process policy loan requests from storm victims within 48 hours, the company says.

Policyholders affected by Hurricane Charley should call Equitable at (800) 777-6510.