The ING Life Companies (NYSE:ING) have lowered rates and made several other changes to term life policies sold in the United States.

The contracts include ING TermSmart, issued by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, Minneapolis, and ING TermSmart NY, issued in New York by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company of New York, Woodbury, N.Y. Both insurers are members of ING Life Companies, the U.S. business unit of ING Groep N.V., Amsterdam.

The rate changes affect much of the pricing on term life policies offered by both ReliaStar carriers, ING says.

The rate decreases range from 2% to 3% in a majority of cases to a 13% reduction in others, says a spokesman for ING.

In a few instances, rates were increased by a few percentage points, he adds.

Other changes in the ING term insurance line-up include:

- The addition of a 25-year level term option to the existing 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year options

- The addition of a rate new rate band that discounts premiums at $500,000-$999,999 face amounts

- Expansion of the issue age for most term lengths by 5 years

In addition, both ING TermSmart policies and ING TermSmart NY can now be exchanged for another individual permanent life insurance product available from ING until 5 years before the end of the level-premium period or age 70, whichever is earlier, the company says.

All guarantees are based on the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company