US-based insurer MetLife will roll out the Enhanced Care Benefit as a rider available on its entire whole life portfolio, to offer consumers with greater flexibility and convenience to fulfill their insurance needs.

Available for policies first sold after 3 September 2013, the enhancement empowers customers to use their life insurance to help protect against the consequences of a sudden death.

Further, it also allows using certain part of the death benefit in the case of the insured’s prolonged illness against the consequences of the costs associated with ongoing care required by such an illness.

Commenting on the launch of the new rider, MetLife senior vice president Gene Lunman said this enhancement will provide producers and customers alike with a solution-oriented whole life portfolio.

"For the financial professional, they now have the distinct advantage of providing customers with a new offering that our research suggests consumers have a great interest in having included in their policy," Lunman added.

"For consumers, they are receiving greater flexibility, and a new benefit that allows them to help meet alternative financial needs with one policy."

The Enhanced Care Benefit gives option to policy holders to accelerate up to 90% of a policy’s death benefit over the life of the policy which can be used to help pay for ongoing care if an insured develops a prolonged illness.

The life insurer said that the new rider can be included on all MetLife Promise Whole Life policies at no additional premium charge.

"By including the Enhanced Care Benefit on a policy, people will be getting another level of financial protection in the unfortunate event of the insured having a prolonged illness," Lunman commented.