NU Online News Service, March 1, 2005, 4:45 p.m. EST

An Empire State insurer says it has improved a rider sold with one of its flagship products.[@@]

The insurer, New York Life Insurance Company, sells the rider, a dividend term option rider, with its whole life policies. The rider provides term life coverage to help increase the total value of the policy death benefits.

The rider now includes a conversion option that lets policyholders convert the remaining term portion to whole life or modified premium whole life coverage within the first 10 years after purchasing the policy without evidence of insurability, New York Life says.

The company also has lowered the face amounts limited for its best risk classes to $100,000 for whole life and $250,000 for modified premium whole life.