A policy rider
is a provision or modification to an existing insurance policy that provides additional coverage to an insurance policy. Generally, policy riders are sold separately from insurance policies.
Examples of riders include buying coverage to pay an accelerated death benefit
, add your children to a life insurance policy, or to protect against an accidental death. A double indemnity rider
pays twice the amount of the policy if you die accidentally.
A waiver of premium rider
is a rider that lets you stop paying premiums for a policy if you become disabled for a sustained period of time before reaching age 60 or 65. The rider keeps your policy active by paying premiums for you. (In normal cases, a term life policy lapses when you stop paying premiums.)
Another example of a rider guarantees additional life insurance coverage without first having to obtain a certificate of insurability
. (A certificate is often issued after you pass a physical exam.) This kind of policy rider is often called a guaranteed insurability rider.
You should evaluate whether a policy rider offers additional protection that you deem worth the extra expense. In some cases, a life insurer offers free rider coverage.
The above information is educational and should not be interpreted as financial advice. For advice that is specific to your circumstances, you should consult a financial or tax adviser.