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Annuity Offers Medical Underwriting

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Protective Life Insurance Company is introducing a single-premium immediate annuity that could be particularly appealing to retirees with health problems.

Protective Life Insurance, a unit of Protective Life Corp., Birmingham, Ala., says its new Protective ProPayer Income Annuity contract offers 3 relatively unusual options.

One option, a commutable benefit option, will give an annuity owner the ability to surrender an annuity in exchange for a portion of the purchase payment, according to Protective Life Insurance.

A second option will let purchasers cope with inflation by setting annuity benefit payments to rise as much as 10% per year.

A third option, medical underwriting, could increase payments or decrease the purchase price for purchasers who have suffered from heart attacks, strokes or other medical conditions, according to Protective Life Insurance.

Protective Life Insurance is responsible for backing the annuity guarantees.