NU Online News Service, Dec. 1, 2004, 4:07 p.m. EST

A carrier is building a charitable giving benefit into certain high-end variable universal life insurance policies.[@@]

American Express Financial Advisors, Minneapolis, has started offering the feature to purchasers of its American Express Variable Universal Life IV ? Estate Series and American Express Life Protection Select ? Estate Series products.

The Estate Series products are aimed at clients who need at least $1 million in life insurance protection.

The charitable giving benefit rider lets clients who buy Estate Series policies earmark an extra death benefit for charity.

The extra charitable death benefit equals 1% of the policy’s face amount for policies with a face amount of up to $10 million, AEFA says. The maximum charitable death benefit amount available through the rider is $100,000.

Policyholders can designate the charitable death benefit beneficiary on the policy rider.

AEFA will make a charitable death benefit donation on behalf of the insured upon the death of the insured if the policy is in force when the insured dies, AEFA says.

AEFA writes the Estate Series policies and charitable giving benefit riders through its IDS Life Insurance Company and IDS Life Insurance of New York units.