Symetra Life Insurance has expanded its group benefits product suite with a new Critical Illness (CI) insurance policy.

The new Symetra Critical Illness insurance product has been designed for employers to provide an added layer of financial protection in the event of a covered critical illness.

Symetra is providing the new policy as a standalone coverage or in conjunction with its other group products such as stop loss, life, disability and Select Benefits fixed-payment medical insurance.

Symetra group life, disability and select benefits senior vice-president Craig Raymond said: "A critical illness can happen to anyone. While most major medical plans cover hospital and medical expenses, there are many other associated costs that can add financial pressure to an already stressful situation.

"Symetra Critical Illness Insurance can help employers provide important financial protection to their employees when they need it most."

The new product provides different custom options, including family coverage, health screening, buy-up and recurrence benefits, as well as guaranteed issue amounts. It is available as an employee or employer-paid benefit.

It offers a lump-sum payment to the insured employee or family member upon diagnosis of a covered condition, once the policy is effective.

Covered conditions are parted into three primary categories, with each condition giving a fixed percentage of the benefit amount, ranging between 25% and 100%.

Insured will directly receive the benefits, which can be used for anything, including expenses such as co-pays, child care and transportation.

Symetra offers employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent agents and advisors.