For some, planning an insurance policy can be a lot like shopping for groceries on a budget. You have enough to purchase the essentials, but you have to think carefully when it comes to buying any additional non-essentials.
When you buy a term policy, you pay for the essential coverage features.
However, Edward Graves, author of “McGill’s Life Insurance” says there are several non-essential “riders” to consider. Riders can be attached to your existing policy to provide additional customized protection.
“A waiver of premium rider “waives” premiums if you become seriously ill or disabled and can’t afford to pay the monthly premium,” said David Theile, Director in Life-Health Product Management at State Farm. “The premium is then “waived” for a certain amount of time usually lasting up to 6 months.”
So, is it worth the extra cost?
Theile says it depends on the customer.
“If they’re concerned about being able to afford to keep life insurance in force in the event they come disabled, they may want to consider the waiver of premium benefit,” Theile says.
Waiver of premium riders are sometimes offered standard or free of charge with a life insurance policy, or the insurance company will tack on a percentage of the annual premium as the cost of the rider. The percentage of the annual premium often starts at 10 percent depending on the company and the type of policy purchased.
Some companies may even offer to refund any premiums you paid during the first six months of the disability or waive premiums until a specific age if the disability occurs at an older age.
If you are young and feel there is little chance of suffering a serious disability, this feature may not be worth it.
However, Theile said if you’re older – or feel it’s better to be safe than sorry – a waiver of premium can be a valuable investment.