The types of options that a person may add onto their life insurance policy vary widely, but the common denominator is that they will increase the cost of the premiums. Yet they are usually well worth it.
One of the best known is referred to as the “Waiver of Premium” option. This allows for a waiver of premium payments for a specified time, should the policy holder be incapacitated due to an injury or illness. Since the insured party may be unable to earn an income, this protection can be a financial lifesaver, especially since it can cover family members as well. Some companies may specify conditions, such as becoming “totally” or “permanently” disabled, or may quote an age upon which this option may take affect.
Another popular extra is the Critical Illness Cover. If an individual is unable to work because of a critical illness (such as cancer), this allows part of the maturity amount to be distributed in a lump sum. It may also, occasionally, be paid out as a regular payment to mirror former income. Each policy has its own list of such illnesses, and if the patient recovers, the money does not need to be paid back. It can be purchased alone or in conjunction with whole life, term or endowment insurance.
The Accidental Death Benefit provides a large monetary coverage (up to 100% of the regular benefits) to beneficiaries, should the policy holder incur an accidental death. It can be added onto policies for spouses and children, and for a relatively modest premium, can offer up to a million dollars in coverage, in addition to the main insurance benefits.
Accelerated Death Benefits will allow the insured or their covered spouse to collect benefits if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness. For example, if a person is given less than a year to live, they may obtain up to 50% of their coverage, although the amount provided will decrease the total payable beneficiaries by that much upon death of the insured.
The Permanent Total Disability option provides for additional insurance benefits if the insured should suffer permanent total disability as a result of an accident or illness. This defines “permanent” as a condition that lasts at least 2 continuous years, of which there does not appear any chance of improvement or the ability to resume work.
These life insurance “extras” are just a sampling of what insurance companies may offer policy holders. They are usually called Rider Benefits because they run, or ride along, the main policy. All life insurance comparisons should include several companies, and individual situations should be discussed with qualified and experienced professionals. Some companies may include one or two options at no cost to make their policies more attractive and competitive, and this should not be construed as lessening the value of the extras in any way.
Life insurance coverage that’s appropriate for an individual and his or her family will offer peace of mind, and should be considered a top priority when planning finances.