What Are Life Insurance Riders?

Life insurance riders are optional additional coverage benefits that can be purchased with your base life insurance policy in exchange for an extra amount of premium. You can add these riders to enhance the base coverage of your life insurance policy. There are different riders available in the market that offer different benefits.

Types of Life Insurance Riders

Different riders offer different benefits to the insured. Explained below are commonly used riders in life insurance plans:

1. Accidental Death Benefit Rider: Accidental Death Benefit rider offers sum assured along with rider benefit to the nominee in case of accidental demise of the life assured. In most cases, accidents may not result in the on-the-spot death of the life assured, in such cases, the insurance company provides a time duration after the accident occurs to provide the given cover. For example in case of an unfortunate demise of the life assured within 120-180 days from when the accident occurs the nominee shall be provided with a sum assured amount.

2. Accidental Total and Permanent Disability Rider: Accidental Total and Permanent Disability rider the insurance company provides the rider benefit to the life assured in case he/she suffers total permanent disability caused by an accident, which disables the life assured to earn a living and pay the due premiums. Usually, this rider comes along with the Accidental Death Benefit rider.

3. Critical Illness Rider: Critical Illness rider is the most preferred rider because this rider covers major critical illnesses such as heart diseases, tumors, cancer, organ failure, etc. Critical illnesses are listed in every insurance company’s terms and conditions before purchasing this rider it is advised to check the list to make sure if you have been diagnosed with any critical illness is mentioned in the list. Insurance companies provide critical illness rider benefit to the life insured in case he/she is diagnosed with any of the listed critical illnesses. It is also advised that people consume tobacco or alcohol on a regular basis.

4. Waiver of Premium Rider: Under a waiver of premium rider all future payable premiums get waived off in case the life assured suffers disability caused in an accident, disabling the life assured to pay future premiums for their life insurance policy. This rider lets the life assured to avail of the policy benefit even after receiving the waiver of premium rider benefit. Waiver of premium rider usually comes with Accidental Total and Permanent Disability rider or with Critical Illness rider.

5. Accelerated Death Benefit Rider: Under Accelerated Death Benefit Rider, in case the life assured is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the insurance company shall provide a part of the sum assured amount in advance. The amount receivable can be used for the treatment of the life assured. In case the life assured passes away due to terminal illness such as cancer, heart ailments, kidney failure, paralysis, etc. during the policy term then the remaining sum assured shall be provided to the family of the life assured.

6. Term Rider: In Term rider, if the policyholder/insured passes away in any case, the nominee will receive a monthly income or a lump sum. The amount of rider benefit can be equivalent to the base plan coverage of the life insurance or it can be a pre-decided amount already mentioned in the policy.

7. Hospital Cash Rider: Under this rider, if the policyholder/insured has to be admitted to the hospital for treatment then a fixed amount of rider benefit will be provided to the policyholder/insured depending on the per-day expense of the hospitalization.

8. Surgical Care Rider: In the Surgical Care rider if the policyholder/insured has to undergo an unavoidable medical surgery in India, he/she will receive a lump sum as rider benefit by the insurance company. The rider benefit differs in every type of surgery.

9. Income Benefit Rider: Under income benefit rider a pre-decided number of monthly installments which is equal to the monthly income of the life assured is provided to the family members of the life assured in case of an unfortunate demise of the life assured during the policy term. This rider will help the life assured to ensure that his/her family members maintain a healthy lifestyle even if he/she is not around.

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FAQ About What Are Life Insurance Riders?

  • Is it mandatory to buy riders with a life insurance policy?

    No. It is not mandatory to opt for riders when buying a life insurance policy. However, it is recommended to opt for them as they offer you additional coverage at affordable premiums. Riders are often affordable because they require relatively lesser underwriting.   

  • How can I add riders to my life insurance policy?

    You can add riders to your life insurance policy at the time of policy purchase, by paying an extra premium. When using the life insurance premium calculator online, you will see riders displayed under a particular health insurance plan, if it offers so, and you can choose from them as per your budget and requirements.

  • Why should I opt for riders in my life insurance policy?

    It is recommended to opt for riders with a life insurance policy as it offers you the following benefits:  

    • They offer extra coverage which can prove to be really helpful in times of crisis.
    • It is more affordable to opt for a life insurance rider than buying a separate policy. Also, you get to choose which riders you want, therefore it is more cost-effective.
    • You can avail of tax benefits on the premium paid for life insurance riders, under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. 
  • What are the basic conditions for Accidental Death Rider in life insurance?

    Following are the conditions for Accidental Death Rider in life insurance:

    • The policy must be valid on the date of the accident
    • If death occurs within 180 days after the accident
    • Benefit available for policyholders aged below 65 years
    • Benefits are equal to the sum assured of the base policy, up to Rs. 50 Lakh paid in case of a claim 
  • Can I add a rider to my existing life insurance policy?

    Mostly, the insurance companies do not allow the policyholders to add riders to already existing life insurance policies. But some may allow for the same. When going through the underwriting process, you must get in touch with your insurance provider and understand the rider options that you have to add to your existing life insurance policy. 

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