Living benefit riders to life insurance policies (also known as ‘combo’ or ‘hybrid’ policies) have become a core component of life insurance sales strategy. LIMRA reported that in 2020 “Combination products represented 24 percent of life insurance sales based on total premium.” Concurrently, the long-term care insurance (LTCI) industry reached an inflection point when more LTCI (and chronic illness) benefits were sold through hybrid products than from standalone LTCI coverage.
On the spectrum of life and LTCI hybrid policies, the richest of these provide coverage of LTCI first through accelerating the policy’s death benefit, and then by providing extended LTCI benefits for many more years. There are a handful of individual and worksite insurers who sell these rich hybrid policies. On the other end of this spectrum are acceleration-only riders to life insurance policies. These riders provide policyholders the opportunity to receive a portion of the policy’s death benefit in advance, under certain conditions. Some of these riders do not cover qualified LTCI, but instead cover ‘chronic illness,’ which has a similar benefit trigger but is not formally LTCI.
This article outlines industry practice and consideration for pricing these acceleration-only policies. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Model Regulation #620 addresses accelerated death benefit riders to life insurance policies. Model Regulation #620 outlines three financing methods for accelerated death benefit riders which we describe in this article. The Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission (the IIPRC, or the “Compact”) adopted standards for some of these riders in the Additional Standards for Accelerated Death Benefits (IIPRC-L-08-LB-I-AD-3). For companies filing chronic illness, critical illness, and terminal illness products in the Compact, these standards define—among other items—the form and actuarial submission requirements and benefit design options for accelerated death benefit riders. If a company is filing an acceleration rider for a qualified LTCI benefit, that product would be subject to the IIPRC individual LTC insurance standards.
Author(s): Stephanie Scholz and Robert Eaton
Publication Date: June 2022
Publication Site: Product Matters!, SOA