Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, which specializes in flexible employee benefits, has launched two new lines of group coverage: voluntary critical illness (VCI) and voluntary accident (VAI) insurance.

VCI provides a fixed, lump-sum payment upon diagnosis of a critical illness, such as cancer, heart attack or stroke. The payment is made directly to the insured and can be used for any purpose. Coverage options range from $5,000 to $50,000 each for employees and their spouses.

With VAI, the insured gets a range of fixed, lump-sum benefits for injuries resulting from an accident, such as fractures, burns and more serious ailments. Payment is made directly to the insured and can also be used for any purpose. All coverage is guaranteed issue and requires no medical underwriting.

Both new products are now available in most states and may be purchased as voluntary (100% employee-paid) or contributory coverage. They may be purchased on a stand-alone basis or in conjunction with other Reliance Standard lines. Policies will be offered with effective dates beginning Oct. 1, 2011.

“Health care costs have continued to rise over the past several years, but have not reliably kept pace with the true cost of health care delivery and treatment,” says Lawrence Daurelle, president and CEO of Reliance Standard. “The chances of being diagnosed with a critical illness or experiencing an accident are steadily increasing, as are survival rates, which leads to growing financial challenges for the affected family.”

For more information about Reliance Standard, visit www.reliancestandard.com.