Empire Life announces new features to critical illness product, Vital Link™

Kingston, Ontario, May 09, 2005 – The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire) today announced new features to its critical illness product, Vital Link. One key feature added is a return of premium option on Vital Link 10. This means that clients are eligible to receive a 50% premium payback benefit at 10 years, growing to 100% at year 15 and thereafter. The company feels this is a very attractive feature for professional and business clients who purchase critical illness insurance for business purposes.

Other features include the addition of two new critical illness coverages, aorta surgery and heart valve replacement, bringing the total number of medical conditions covered by Vital Link to 23. Also a new non life-threatening illness benefit allows clients to receive 25% of the face value of their policy (up to $25,000) if diagnosed with certain conditions, including ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast, stage A prostate cancer, HIV-related cancer or coronary angioplasty (one occurrence up to $10,000). A claim due to one of these non life-threatening conditions does not affect the total face amount of the contract.

Empire is also introducing Best Doctors® Medical Assistance to new Vital Link policyholders at no additional charge. This service offers clients expert second opinions with top doctors and hospitals for care and help in accessing the best treatment available.

“We are quite passionate about the importance of critical illness insurance in the marketplace,” says Owen Rhoden, Manager of Individual Life and Health Insurance Marketing, “Our improved Vital Link fills the need to provide consumers with the means to maintain their standard of living when the reality of illness strikes. It’s about living, but more important it’s about living well.”

Empire’s enhanced Vital Link critical illness product is on the market now. Rates for this product have increased by about 15 – 30% due to rising industry-wide rates charged by reinsurance companies. The critical illness component of TrilogyTM, Empire’s universal life product, is not affected by these enhancements and rate changes at this time.

About Empire

The Empire Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of E-L Financial Corporation Limited, is rated “A (Excellent)” by A.M. Best Company Inc. and maintains a strong Minimum Continuing Capital and Surplus Requirements (MCCSR) ratio of 207%. Under the marketing identity of Empire Financial Group, and through a nationwide network of professional financial advisors, brokers, managing general agents and group producers, Empire provides solutions for the changing financial security and wealth management needs of Canadians. Our success is based on our commitment to being approachable and responsive to the needs of our clients and business partners, on consistently solid investment performance, and on our faith in our employees as future leaders of the Company. For more information about Empire Life and its products and services visit us at www.empire.ca