Life insurance “Riders” are extra benefits that can be added to a life insurance policy, in most cases, for an additional cost. Most every company that underwrites life insurance offers some selection of policy riders. Common riders include children’s insurance, spousal term insurance, accidental death and dismemberment coverage, waiver of premium (for disability), accelerated death benefits and long term care insurance.
Riders enhance the overall benefits of the base life insurance policy and can provide valuable added protection. For example, the child’s term insurance rider can usually be added to any policy (depending upon the company) that will provide $5,000 to $10,000 of life insurance on each of your children. The cost for $10,000 of children’s term insurance usually runs about $75 a year and covers all of your kids whether you have 1 child or 5.
When shopping for life insurance, you should investigate available policy riders. In many cases, they do not make sense but under special circumstances, riders can be a wise addition. In fact, some riders, like the accelerated death benefit rider, are offered free of charge and should always be added regardless of whether you think you need the coverage.