Insurance Riders

For additional premiums most policies will include riders-provisions attached to the basic contract which give the policyholder extra benefits or options. Some of these are so common that they are automatically inserted in the policy, and the premium is quoted as part of the whole policy.

Double Indemnity

A famous novel and movie turned this rider into a household word. If you have a double indemnity rider your beneficiaries will get double the face value of the policy should you die in an accident. Some policies triple the amount if the accident occurs while you are traveling in a common carrier.

Is it worth buying? We’d say it’s a matter of personal choice. The chances are statistically small that you will die as the result of an accident; on the other hand, the extra premium cost is modest and the returns are large.

Disability Waiver

For a small extra premium, your policy may include a waiver of premiums in the event of disability before 60 or 65 years of age (depending upon the company). This is an extremely important rider, and one that we advise you to consider most seriously. Here’s what it provides:

If you become totally and permanently disabled, the company will pay your premiums for you. At the same time, all the provisions of the insurance contract remain effective. Generally this covers only disability which lasts longer than six months. But the waiver is retroactive to the beginning of the disability period.

The waiver is obviously a great protection against a loss of security in a time of emergency. But it is also a moneymaking machine. During the period it operates, the cash value keeps increasing, and so may be borrowed against if extra cash is needed, or withdrawn, if you want to terminate the policy later. If you have a term policy, you may even be able to convert it to a permanent policy such as whole life or universal life insurance during the time you are disabled and using the waiver. If the rider allows for it, the insurance company will pay the new premiums-an incredible advantage if you are permanently disabled. If you are only temporarily disabled, be sure you will be in a position to pay the new, higher premium once you return to work.