Do riders increase the cost of life insurance?

Riders add additional benefits and features — some at a cost.

Riders are additions to your life insurance policy that allow you to customize your coverage.

Some life insurance riders are included with your life insurance policy, some riders you can add for no additional charge, some riders you can add with an additional charge, and some riders require additional underwriting in additional to an additional charge.

The types and prices of riders vary depending on your insurance company, your state, and your particular policy.

Read more:

Life insurance riders that are generally free

  • Accelerated benefit riders — included in most policies; available for terminal illness, chronic illness, critical illness; provides benefits while you’re still alive if you qualify, according to the terms of the specific rider, usually because you have a certain diagnosis.
  • Term conversion rider — included in most policies; allows you to convert your term policy to a permanent policy at the end of your term.
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Life insurance riders that require additional premiums

  • Spousal rider — costs additional premium; provides a death benefit if your spouse dies. Read more about life insurance for spouses.

  • Child rider — costs additional premium; provides death benefit if your child dies. Read more about child riders.

  • Waiver of premium for disability rider — costs additional premium; waives premiums if you’re diagnosed with a disability and cannot work. For more robust disability coverage, we recommend long-term disability insurance.

  • Long-term care rider — requires additional underwriting and costs additional premium; provides payments directly to a long-term care facility, possibly in excess of the face value of your policy .

  • Return-of-premium rider — costs additional premium; refunds premiums, minus fees, if you outlive your term policy

  • Accidental death benefit rider — costs additional premium; pays additional death benefit if you die in an accident (as opposed to a health-related cause). Read more about accidental death insurance.

  • Disability income rider — requires additional underwriting and costs additional premium; provides regular income if you are diagnosed with a disability and unable to work (a standalone disability insurance policy) generally offers better coverage for a better price).

  • Guaranteed insurability rider — requires additional premium; allows you to purchase additional coverage at a later date without going through underwriting again.

    How to find out the cost of life insurance riders

    Because the variety of available riders varies by carrier and even by policy, the best way to inquire about the availability and pricing of riders is when you’re working with an agent or a broker on your application. Once you have a quote you like from a carrier, the agent can let you know what riders are available to you and pull figures on rider costs based on your projected health classification with the carrier.

Our agents can help you through every step of the application process. You can get started by comparing life insurance quotes.

Further reading

What does life insurance cover?

When will life insurance pay out, and when will it not? Learn what scenarios are covered by your policy.

Read

What are life insurance premiums?

Premiums keep your policy in-force. Learn how they're determined and how you can lower them.

Read

What are life insurance riders?

Customize your policy and get additional benefits and protection with must-have riders.

Read

Why life insurance isn't an asset

Life insurance protects your family's financial future - but should you consider it an investment?

Read

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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