How Living Benefits Work
In Life Insurance

How Living Benefits Work
In a Life Insurance Contract

Get Early Access to Death Benefits

We believe that life insurance should enable people to live life on their own terms. Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life Express provides consumers with a quick process to get life insurance coverage with extra benefits. We offer these benefits through riders that we automatically include with every policy. These benefits give you the power to potentially control your quality of life during serious health events. Those events must generally be severe enough to significantly shorten your life span. The amount available will also vary greatly based on the years you still have to live.1

What needs do the benefits serve?

Tom Buckingham, our Chief Operating Officer explains why a consumer may want the protection that term life insurance with living benefits provides.

Term insurance can protect your family and covers expenses like short and long-term debts, medical bills, and college tuition in the event of an unexpected death. Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life Express issues quickly,2 offers basic death protection and more. Unlike basic term life policies without additional benefits, this product includes three types of living benefits through accelerated death benefit riders, and a premium waiver during unemployment.3 These riders offer additional flexibility and coverage for a number of unexpected events. We offer them at no additional premium.

What conditions do the benefits cover?

Terminal Illness

This benefit allows the owner to receive payment of a portion of the death benefits under the policy upon terminal illness of the insured. The owner must provide written evidence from a licensed physician that the insured has an illness or condition that is expected to result in the insured’s death within twelve months.

Chronic Illness

This benefit allows the owner to receive payment of a portion of the death benefits under the policy upon chronic illness of the insured. The owner must provide written evidence from a licensed physician that the insured has been certified as; (1) Being unable to perform at least two activities of daily living for at least 90 days, as defined in the rider, or (2) Requiring substantial supervision due to severe cognitive impairment for at least 90 days, as defined in the rider.

Critical Illness

This benefit allows the owner to receive payment of a portion of the death benefits under the policy upon the Insured experiencing a covered qualifying event. The owner must provide written evidence from a licensed Physician of the Insured’s qualifying event. Election of a benefit must be made within 365 days following the occurrence of the qualifying event. The qualifying events covered under this rider are:

  1. Heart attack (myocardial infarction): The death of a portion of the heart muscle resulting from inadequate blood supply. Heart attack does not include angina or the chance finding of electrocardiographic (EKG) changes indicative of a previous Heart Attack. The diagnosis of heart attack must be based on the presence of all of the following:
    • Chest pain and/or dyspnea (shortness of breath);
    • Associated new EKG changes which support the diagnosis; and
    • Elevation of cardiac (heart) biomarker levels which support the diagnosis.
  2. Stroke: A cerebrovascular accident or infarction (death) of brain tissue caused by hemorrhage, embolism, or thrombosis lasting more than 24 hours and producing measurable neurological deficit which persists for at least 30 consecutive days following the occurrence of the stroke. Stroke does not include transient ischemic attacks.
  3. Diagnosis of cancer: A disease manifested by the presence of one or more malignant tumors and characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of malignant cells and the invasion of normal tissue. Cancer does not include:
    • Any skin cancer, except invasive malignant melanoma into the dermis or deeper;
    • Pre-malignant lesions, benign tumors, or polyps; or
    • Carcinoma in-situ.
  4. Diagnosis of end stage renal failure: End stage renal failure means an irreversible and total failure of both kidneys which requires the undergoing of renal transplantation or regular renal dialysis.
  5. Major organ transplant: The receipt by transplant of any of the following organs or tissues: heart, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas, or bone marrow.
  6. Diagnosis of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

How do the benefits work?

The request for a benefit must specify the amount of the policy death benefit to be accelerated, subject to the terms in the rider. The actual payment will be a discounted value of the accelerated death benefit minus administrative fees. The discounted value, calculated at the time of claim, will take into account the medical condition of the insured, required future premiums under the base policy, and the applicable interest rate at the time of claim.4 If future premiums are expected to increase significantly, this could further lower the actual payment.

Tom Buckingham, our Chief Operating Officer explains how a policyholder can access the benefits and how we calculate the actual payment.

Accelerated Death Benefit Calculation Example

Below are estimated payment ranges under the different accelerated benefits, for this Safe Harbor Term Life Policy:

  • $200,000 face amount
  • 20-year duration
  • Female nonsmoker
  • 50 years old at time of policy issue
  • Acceleration election = $100,000 (50%)
  • Remaining face amount = $100,000
Severity Payment
Chronic Illness Temporary $0 - $5K
Critical Illness Mild $10K - $30K
Moderate $30K - $50K
Severe $50K - $70K
Chronic Illness Permanent $75K - $85K
Terminal Illness $95K

Since the acceleration amount is being paid prior to actual time of death, a discount factor is applied, based on our assumption of future mortality for the qualifying condition. The acceleration amount is also reduced by the present value of unpaid future premiums. Chronic Illness claims due to a temporary condition have no change in future mortality, and the discount factor and future premium reduction described may be greater than the acceleration amount elected. These examples are based on company experience across a wide range of conditions. These benefits are not guaranteed. Actual results may be more or less favorable.


1 Each rider requires certain standards to be met before you qualify to exercise and there are limitations and restrictions on when and how often an accelerated death benefit rider can be exercised. Refer to the riders and the Accelerated Death Benefit Rider Disclosure for details.

2 We offer Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life Express through a simplified issue process also known as accelerated underwriting.

3 Administrative charge will apply upon rider exercise. The policy death benefit will be reduced when rider is exercised. Rider benefits are not long-term care. See product brochure for additional details.

4 The policy owner will not receive 100% of the amount they choose to accelerate.

Important Disclosures

Premium charge: There are no separate premium charges for the accelerated death benefit riders.

Administrative charge: There is an administrative charge for each exercise of any rider that is deducted from the benefit payment. This is due at the time of benefit payment. The amount of this charge is specified in each rider.

Accelerated death benefits are paid as a lump sum. In the event that the Insured dies after a written request for an accelerated death benefit is submitted but before payment is made and we receive written notice at our home office of this death, the request for an accelerated death benefit will be considered void and no benefit will be paid under the rider. Once an accelerated death benefit has been paid, the election to request such accelerated death benefit cannot be revoked.Consent of an assignee or irrevocable policy beneficiary may be required.

Effect on policy: After payment of an accelerated death benefit, the policy face amount will be reduced proportionally to the amount you chose to accelerate. Base policy premiums payable will also be reduced proportionately.There will be no reduction in the annual policy fee. Each rider has specific exercise limitations. Please see specific rider terms for details.

Government benefit eligibility: You should note that the actual or constructive receipt of payment under an accelerated death benefits rider may adversely affect your eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, or other government benefits or entitlements. Exercising the option to accelerate benefits and receiving those benefits before application for these programs, or while benefits are being received, may affect initial or continued eligibility; an elder law or elder care advisor should be consulted.

The ability to apply for coverage over the phone directly with Phoenix licensed agents is available in CO, CT, GA, MI, NC, SC, and OH, at this time.

Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life and Phoenix Safe Harbor Term Life Express (ICC14PPTL, 14PPTL) are issued by PHL Variable Insurance Company (PHLVIC) (Hartford, CT). PHLVIC is not authorized to conduct business in Maine and New York.

Members of The Phoenix Companies, Inc., a Nassau Re Company

Note: Terminal, chronic and critical riders have not been approved in CA. Critical rider has not been approved in CT.

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