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Policy riders: Your policy, your way

Policy riders provide a wide range of benefits and let you customize your coverage

Stretch the value of your policy
Ever go out for pizza with a large group of people? One person prefers extra cheese, another wants mushrooms and olives; still another prefers pepperoni, onion, and peppers. No problem, right? The restaurant staff is more than happy to cater to everyone’s individual needs, and customers can customize to their heart’s content with toppings — generally for only a slight increase in price.

Believe it or not, the same holds true for a life insurance policy and the riders that can go with it. Similar to the toppings on your pizza, riders can help you customize your policy, adding to your “safe and secure” coverage, and creating a policy designed to fit your specific needs.

And, while there is never a “sale” on life insurance policies, riders can be a terrific way to stretch the value of your policy.

Just what is a policy rider?
A rider is an addition to an insurance policy that is separate from the basic policy and provides additional benefits, usually at additional cost, although some are automatically included. Depending on the policy you choose, there are several riders available that provide a wide range of benefits and can help you meet your short- and long-term goals. For example, riders can help you lock in guaranteed insurance coverage down the road, or financially protect you in the event that you become disabled, or terminally ill. Other riders can guarantee more insurance for you in the future—or even for your spouse or children—without having to provide additional proof of good health.

In short, policy riders provide you with the flexibility to meet your changing needs, and can grow along with you and your family—the toppings for your life insurance policy pizza. A New York Life agent can help you sort through all the options and decide which, if any, life insurance policy and riders best fit your situation. Depending on your policy1 , some of the more common “additional toppings” might include2:

  • Accidental Death Benefit: This rider provides an additional death benefit (equal to the face amount of the policy, up to a maximum of $300,000) if you die before the age of 70, and as the direct result of an accident.
  • Disability Waiver of Premium: Should you become totally disabled (as explained in the policy) for six months or more, this rider waives your policy premiums during that time.
  • Living Benefits Rider: Imagine you were diagnosed with a terminal illness and found to have a life expectancy of 12 months or less. This rider gives you access to a portion of your policy’s eligible death benefit during your lifetime, potentially giving you access to funds for critical medical treatments, or to help defray living expenses for your caregivers. You can request that this rider be added to your policy at any time3. Various states have established different life expectancy periods once terminal illness is diagnosed. Your agent can provide you with specific information.
  • Spouse’s Paid-Up Insurance Purchase Option (SPPO)4: Should you die, this rider gives your spouse, provided he/she is the beneficiary of your policy (or family member in New York), the right to purchase a new paid-up life insurance policy on his or her life, without providing evidence of insurability. The benefits? The SPPO rider may serve to insure someone who is otherwise uninsurable and can be an effective estate planning tool by helping to protect beneficiaries and providing funds to help pay estate taxes after both individuals die. This rider is included in most New York Life policies at no additional cost.
  • Children’s Insurance: This rider provides level term insurance for your eligible children, which can later be upgraded to permanent insurance—up to five times the face amount of the term coverage. This upgrade is available on the policy anniversary when the covered child is age 25, the insured is age 65, or when the child marries—whichever comes first. Please note: The Children’s Insurance rider is not available with Custom Whole Life policies.

Finding the perfect fit
It’s important to understand these are only partial descriptions of some of our riders. Not all riders are available on all policies or in every state, and some states vary the terms of certain riders. Riders can give you the opportunity to extend or continue life insurance coverage, — sometimes at critical times for you or your family.

Your New York Life agent can work with you—offering more information on specific riders available, and helping you choose which ones fit your needs best.

Don’t have an agent yet? Fill out our “Consult an Agent” form at the top of the page. We’ll have an agent in your local area contact you at your convenience for a free consultation.

Special thanks to Rajesh Sud of Max New York Life.

In Oregon, the rider form numbers are as follows: Accidental Death Benefit: 208-200; Disability Waiver of Premium: 208-225; Living Benefits: 206-496.27; Spouse’s Paid-Up Insurance Purchase Option: 205-375; and Children’s Insurance: 208-247.

1 The five riders listed are available on Yearly Convertible Term and the Level Premium Convertible Term products, as well as Whole Life and Modified Premium Whole Life products.

2 There are certain limitations and restrictions associated with the riders. Please consult a New York Life agent for additional information.

3 There is a cost to exercise this rider.

4 Rider Insured’s Paid-Up Insurance Purchase Option in New York.