NU Online News Service, Feb. 22, 2005, 4:54 p.m. EST

A Chattanooga, Tenn., insurer is giving the workers who buy some of its products more choices.[@@]

The insurer, UnumProvident Corp., is adding options to its voluntary, employee-paid critical illness policies and its employee-paid individual short-term disability insurance policies.

The critical illness policy now gives workers a choice of paying for base coverage, which protects against risks such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure, or enhanced coverage, which protects against the base risks and cancer.

The enhanced product also provides more benefits for covered children.

For some eligible groups, the first $10,000 in critical illness coverage may be sold on a guaranteed-issue basis, UnumProvident says.

UnumProvident is increasing the benefit period for its voluntary STD policy to 5 years, and it is including an optional rider that protects insureds against the risk of mental illness. UnumProvident also has tried to make the product more appealing for brokers by simplifying the underwriting process and the rate structure.

UnumProvident is writing the critical illness and STD products through Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company, Chattanooga.