Though life insurance policies can often seem like a one-size-fits all financial arrangement, it’s really anything but.

Beyond choosing basic policy provisions, like the death benefit amount, the policy term (in the case of term life insurance), or even the monthly premium, there’s a wide selection of riders that can be used to customize your policy.

Some allow you to add additional life insurance coverage, or even add other parties to your policy. But others provide what are collectively known as living benefits, because they can either waive your premiums during a time of distress, or provide you with advances against your death benefit while you’re still alive.


Most can be used with either term life or permanent life insurance policies. But I personally feel strongly that term policies are better for the great majority of people.

Let’s look at 12 the most common life insurance riders.

  1. Accidental Death
  2. Waiver of Premium
  3. Living Benefits
  4. Guaranteed Insurability
  5. Critical Illness
  6. Conversion Extention
  7. Disability Income
  8. Other Insured
  9. Unemployment Waiver of Premium
  10. Charitable Legacy
  11. Return of Premium
  12. Children’s Term Rider