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New Insurance Plan Pays Child Support for Parents Who Lose Jobs

August 15, 1996

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ John Corner, a used-car salesman since 1988, wants to make sure he can make his monthly child-support payment even if he gets laid off.

So the divorced father of two bought what is being touted as a first-of-its-kind insurance policy that would make the $640 payment if he loses his job.

``I can get a job for the most part anywhere. There’s no reason I can’t find a job within a month,″ Corner said Wednesday. ``But if I am laid off ... I have this as a backup.″

Diller & Associates of Fort Wayne began offering the policy this month. Cigna Property and Casualty of Philadelphia agreed to underwrite it.

Randy Diller, vice president of Diller & Associates, said the policy is aimed at people in danger of losing their jobs because of corporate downsizing. People who quit their jobs cannot collect.

``My research found that many of these people were faced with mortgage payments, car payments, so many things besides child-support payments,″ Diller said. ``This allows them to go out to seek employment with the comfort of knowing that their support obligation is being met.″

The policy can be purchased by either parent, or the parents can split the cost. To qualify, the applicant must have been employed for at least a year.

Policyholders can buy one to four months of guaranteed child support. Corner, 36, of Fort Wayne, chose one month, for a $133.40 annual premium, because he feels certain he could get a new job within 30 days.

``The bottom line is that my kids would suffer if they didn’t get this money,″ Corner said.

Bob Zeman, vice president of the National Association of Independent Insurers, said he had never heard of such a policy before but that it could be attractive to the estimated 17 million divorced Americans.

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