A sister company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has introduced a fixed-rate product.

Fort Dearborn Life Insurance Company, Chicago, a unit of Health Care Service Corp., Chicago, says its new Classic Fortifier flexible-premium deferred fixed annuity could appeal to investors who want to be able to withdraw funds if the interest rate drops.

The annuity accepts deposits during the first 12 months of the contract and applies the same 5-year surrender charge schedule to all of those initial deposits.

Purchasers can take out up to 10% of the account value after the first year of the contract without incurring surrender charges, Fort Dearborn says.

Fort Dearborn also will pay an interest rate bonus on premiums deposited in the first 12 months, the company says.

If the annuity renewal rate falls below the initial base credited rate, the owner may make a full or partial withdrawal of the account funds within 30 days after the contract anniversary-without incurring any surrender charges, Fort Dearborn says.

The product comes with a 100% waiver on withdrawal of funds for holders who enter nursing homes or suffer from terminal illnesses.

The minimum initial premium is $4,000.

Fort Dearborn is responsible for backing the product guarantees.