Understanding Policy Riders

Understanding Policy Riders

by Leslie Freeland, February 11, 2018

Life Insurance Customized Just for You

When it comes to a life insurance policy or a mortgage protection life insurance (mortgage protection insurance) policy, you choices are not “one-size-fits-all.”

Did you know that you can customize your insurance, tailoring the coverage to your exact needs?

  • Customized life insurance? Yes
  • Skip payments when disabled? Yes
  • Your life insurance company pays you when you are disabled? Yes
  • Receive your life insurance amount while you are still alive? Yes
  • Get all of your money back when your policy ends? Yes

How? With living benefits also known as policy riders.

 Policy Riders

Life insurance policy riders (can also be applied to mortgage protection life insurance policies) are additional insurance coverage that you can add onto your main insurance policy, allowing you to customize your coverage. They provide you with extra financial protection.

Think of yourself as a cowboy riding a horse. Your life insurance policy is the horse. Yes, the horse is the driving force, but it’s nice to have the extra protection of the saddle, the reins, and comfortable cowboy boots to round it all out. Those extra protection items are life insurance policy riders.

Policy riders are a simple way to truly build a policy that’s unique to you. They are easy to add, cover a variety of different needs, and they’re typically inexpensive.

Six Common Types of Policy RidersA person riding a horse. Life Insurance

1. Waiver of Premium Rider

What would happen if you became disabled, were unable to work and couldn’t afford to pay your life insurance or mortgage protection premiums?

If you don’t make your monthly premium payments, your insurance will be cancelled.

The Waiver of Premium Rider allows you to stop paying premiums and still continue your policy until you are able to return to work full time. Your life insurance or mortgage protection life insurance insurance policy remains in force – just as if you were still making your monthly premium payments.

2. Disability Income Rider

If you become disabled and can’t work, the Disability Income Rider allows you to collect an income each month.

How much will you get? You decide!

When you meet with your insurance agent, share your particular needs, and your agent will find exactly what you need. They will help you choose a policy that achieves your goals.

Once you and your agent have chosen the right insurance policy, your agent can go over the details of your Disability Rider. The payout on these riders is typically a percentage of your policy’s limit. For example, if your policy is $150,000 and the disability income benefit is one percent, the rider would pay you $1,500 per month. This can provide much-needed funds during a time of financial hardship.

3. Critical Illness Rider

If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, such as cancer or a heart attack, this rider allows you to receive some of your life insurance or mortgage protection insurance benefits while you are alive.

You can use this money for your medical expenses or any other costs that you might have.

Many critical illnesses require extensive medicare care and even costly, post-recovery treatments. A Critical Illness Rider can be used to cover the gap not covered by your health insurance to pay these bills. Another benefit of this rider is, that unlike health insurance, you can use the money for whatever you like. So if your medical bills are covered by your health insurance, you could use the money for other needs, such as your mortgage payment or household expenses.

4. Accidental Death Benefit Rider

Life insurance and mortgage protection insurance policies can be designed to provide additional coverage to your beneficiaries if you were to die due to an accident. This rider can pay out an additional cash benefit in addition to the face amount of your current insurance policy.

For example, if you have a $100,000 policy, the carrier would pay up to $150,000 to your beneficiaries.

In some instances, these riders are completely free to the policyholder. An Accidental Death Benefit Rider can be an affordable option for the additional coverage you need. This rider will allow you to have much more life insurance or mortgage protection insurance for a lower cost.

5. Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, this rider allows you to cash out your policy’s death benefit while you are still alive.

For example, if you have a life insurance or mortgage protection insurance policy that has a face value (the total amount that is paid to your beneficiaries after you die) of $100,000, and you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you would receive $100,000 while you are still alive.

That’s money you and your family can use for whatever you may need, easing financial worries at a very difficult time in your life.

6. Return of Premium Rider

If you outlive your term life insurance  or mortgage protection life insurance policy, a Return of Premium Rider will actually refund your premium dollars back to you when your policy expires.

So you will get back every payment you have made to the insurance company. This means that if you paid $30,000 in monthly premiums for a 30-year policy, you would receive refund payment of $30,000 at the end (tax free).

Review Your Current Policy Riders

If you are wondering, “How do I find out what other policy riders there are?” or “Can I add riders onto my existing insurance policy?” Just ask!

We will give your current policy a review to determine what riders you have now. And if you do have policy riders, we will help make sure you are receiving your benefits. Many times, people are not taking advantage of the available funds in their living benefits.




Asurea offers Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection Life Insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long-term Care Insurance, Retirement Planning products and more. For additional information, click on the ‘Learn more’ button below. Want to have articles just like this delivered to your inbox? Just enter your email address in the box below and click ‘Subscribe.’

This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice. Dollar amounts are for illustrative purposes, not actual.


Leslie Freeland

Leslie Freeland

Find her at LinkedIn
Leslie joined Asurea as the Marketing Communications Coordinator in February 2015. Since then, she has been working closely with insurance professionals to educate the public on the importance of life insurance and protect the public from common scams with informational articles.
Leslie Freeland