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BMO Insurance announced the launch of a new investment option for universal life insurance policyholders on Thursday.

The North American Equity Enhanced Market Indexed Account (EMIA) is designed to generate higher returns than a guaranteed interest option on a universal life insurance policy without the risk of negative returns, BMO said in a release.

“People in Canada want more certainty when it comes to their life insurance policies,” said Steven Cooney, senior vice president, head of individual life and annuities, BMO Insurance. “This has become even more important given recent market volatility.”

According to the release, EMIA invests in long-term bonds and enhanced equity investments to mitigate risk during market downturns. Its credited rate is indexed to the S&P/TSX Composite Low Volatility Index and the S&P500 Low Volatility Index.

BMO Insurance will manage the investment strategy in partnership with BMO Capital Markets.