Life & Disability Insurance - What are Riders and How Would I Benefit From Them?

Life & Disability Insurance – What are Riders and How Would I Benefit From Them?


A “Rider” is sold at the same time that you buy your insurance policy and it modifies your policy. These are occasionally called endorsements. The Rider overrides any conflict with the policy. In other words, if there is a provision in the Rider that is different than the same provision that was originally in the insurance policy, then the Rider prevails.Riders may exclude or remove coverage, which can lower your monthly premium, however, in most cases, Riders will add more coverage to the existing policy.These are some of the most common Riders found in life insurance policies:Accidental Death and Dismemberment, also known as “Multiple Indemnity” – These are sometimes known as “A D & D” Riders. The insurance company will pay a multiple of the policy’s Face Value, which is the amount that the policy would pay to the beneficiary in the event of the death of the insured person. This Rider may also cover loss of sight or the loss of one or more limbs within a designated amount of time from the date that the accident occurred.Example, say that the insured person was in a car accident and damage was done to their legs that resulted in amputation a few weeks after the accident occurred. Most of the time this coverage period will depend on the state that the policy is drawn in, however, 90 days is common for this type of Rider.Note: This type of Rider does NOT cover death by any form of illegal activities, such as committing a crime resulting in a felony, death by suicide or death by a malfunction of the body. An example of this would be someone that suffered a stroke or heart attack while driving, but the physical condition occurred before the accident and the accident was the result of that condition. This type of accident would not be covered.A D & D will also cover dismemberment. In case of the accidental loss of one eye, one arm, one leg, etc. one half of the death benefit would be paid to the insured. In the event that the insured person suffered the loss of sight in both eyes or lost two or more limbs, then that would result in the entire principal sum (death benefit) being paid to the insured. In this event, the A D & D Rider would be terminated because the entire Face Value would be paid out.Waiver of Premium Rider – The Insurance company will pay the policy for the person insured in the event that they happen to become permanently and completely disabled. They must also go through a waiting period called an “elimination period”, which is often around 180 days (six months).Disability Income Rider – These can be added to your life insurance policy as a Rider. This particular Rider will pay a pre-determined amount of income after the insured person has been disabled for the length of the waiting period. The waiting period or “elimination period”, is the period of time immediately after the insured is determined to have a disability. There are no benefits paid during this waiting period. Your disability income may not exceed the average amount of your average income over the previous two years time. You may not buy more than this amount of coverage.The disability benefits of the insured are combined with other potential disability income such as lost wage policies, social security disability, salary continuation plans, etc. This is to make sure that the person insured is not collecting more money by being disable than they would if they were employed. Combining or Integrating the benefits means that other forms of disability coverage will kick in to pay the insured individual first. Other forms of coverage being worker’s compensation, etc. The Disability Rider will kick in to make up only enough of the difference to assure that the person receiving benefits receives an equal amount of income as the would have had they been working.

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