USIC Life Insurance to Launch New Product

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USIC's new product complements life, health and long-term care insurance; provides financial support for the treatment of life-threatening diseases

Today, United Surety & Indemnity Co. (USIC) launches Critical Illness Insurance, a new product that is now available through its sister company, USIC Life Insurance. Critical illnesses, as described by most insurance carriers, are diseases that threaten life; USIC's new product lists nine of them.

"This is a flexible product, complementary to life, health and long-term care insurance, which gives peace of mind to the insured and his or her family. When the insured is diagnosed with of one of the conditions included in his or her policy, he or she receives a lump sum according to the coverage purchased," said Frederick Millán, president of USIC and USIC Life Insurance. For instance, if the insured was covered for $20,000, he or she will receive that amount of money after the "survival period," which in this case is 30 days after the person was diagnosed. Coverage can be purchased in $10,000 increments up to $50,000.

The policy is sold in packages of three, five or all nine conditions. Basic coverage, which starts with a $10,000 coverage, includes coronary heart disease (heart attack), cancer and stroke, which -- in that order -- are the three leading causes of death among Americans, according to the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. Coronary bypass, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, paralysis, blindness and deafness are the other six conditions considered under this product.

"When a family member becomes critically ill, he or she is no longer able to contribute an income to the household. Furthermore, the treatment of any of these conditions is extremely expensive. This takes a big toll on a family's finances and our product is designed to ease that situation," Millán said.

Best Doctors, an added-value item to critical illness insurance, is automatically included in USIC's policy and facilitates a network of approximately 50,000 physicians to provide a second opinion, if the insured wants one. "These are specialists from Harvard and other renowned practices around the world. Additionally, counseling and assistance is provided if the insured needs to travel away from home to treat his or her illness. USIC is the only local carrier to offer this feature in its critical illness insurance policy," said Millán.

Any adult, from 20 to 65 years old, qualifies for this product. Other requirements include medical history and pre-existing conditions. "When there is no pre-existing condition, we do what is called a simplified underwriting, but if there is each case is analyzed individually to determine eligibility," Millán explained.

In the United Kingdom, critical illness insurance is a well-established product often sold with life insurance and although it's relatively new to the U.S., its popularity has grown constantly for the past decade, according to Millán. "We expect the same results in Puerto Rico," he said.

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Rafael Blanes
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