An insurer is working to make variable universal life insurance a better vehicle for protecting holders against serious chronic illness.

The Simsbury, Conn., life insurance arm of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, has added a LifeAccess Accelerated Death Benefit Rider option for holders of the company’s Stag Accumulator II Variable Universal Life and Stag Protector II Variable Universal Life policies.

Purchasers can use the rider to get tax-free cash from VUL policies if they need supervision because of severe cognitive impairment or are unable to perform 2 activities of daily living without substantial assistance from another person for at least 90 days.

Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Company writes the underlying policies and riders outside of New York, and Hartford Life Insurance Company writes the policies and riders in New York.