Life Insurance Riders you Should Consider

Chris Riley

Chris Riley

Chris is the Founder and CEO of USA Rx. Chris has led the USA Rx team to continue to push for further transparency and more savings options in the U.S. prescription marketplace for the Diabetes community. With COVID-19 transforming and normalizing how consumers view and use digital health, Chris led the transformation of the USA Rx brand to a digital health marketplace.

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Last Updated on November 30, 2023

Life insurance can address numerous financial objectives, at various stages of your life. As you get older, perhaps you have children, move into a larger home, and your life insurance needs to change with you.  Having a policy that allows you to use part of the death benefit while still living, may be extremely valuable to your family at some point in time.  If you’re like most consumers, you’ll want to have ‘flexibility’ in how your life insurance policy can be used.

As you know, people with Diabetes can qualify for life insurance coverage, at affordable rates. But in addition to obtaining Diabetes life insurance to protect your family, you will want to review what possible ‘riders’ your term life insurance, or permanent life insurance policy can provide.  We are here to tell you that life insurance can be used in several instances, while the insured is still alive.

Life insurance can cover all types of changes in your life, outside of just death.  Companies have evolved over time, and now are offering several different riders that can benefit you while living.  Most importantly, people with gestational, type1, and type 2 diabetes can qualify for several life insurance riders.  And in some situations, certain companies will offer these AT NO EXTRA cost to you!  Many websites and untrained agents do not share with diabetics all the various riders that insurance policies come with.  Which is extremely disappointing.

Diabetes Life Solutions was created to help those living with diabetes find the best life insurance policies possible.  Every insurance company will have different riders that they offer to people with diabetes.  We’ll point out that depending on your Diabetes history, and overall health profile, you MAY NOT be eligible for all the available riders.  This is why it’s important to work with us, share with us your Diabetes history and let us help you determine which insurance carriers will offer you the best policy with the riders that suit your needs the best.

What is a Rider on a Life Insurance Policy?

When you purchase a life insurance policy, your policy’s terms and conditions are clearly written out in the contract between you, and the life insurance carrier. If you buy a term policy, it will tell you the rates for your term coverage and when the policy will end. Or if you opted for a whole life insurance policy, it will explain the premiums you pay in, cash value amounts, estimated dividend payments and guaranteed cash value amounts. 

Many people with Diabetes will want to customize their life insurance policy, by adding ‘riders’ to their policy. These riders are optional, but each one will provide an additional benefit to you, the policy holder. Not all life insurance companies offer the various riders to Diabetics, that we are going to discuss. However, over time, more and more companies are allowing riders as options for people with Diabetes. It is important you speak with our agents so they can provide to you the life insurance company that works best for your situation.

When working with Diabetes Life Solutions, we’ll help you every step of the way. From providing REAL and ACCURATE quotes initially, to then answering all your questions about the various riders that are available to you. Some riders may come at NO extra cost with one life insurance company, but with another it may cost you more monthly. We’ll make all of this complicated information easy for you to understand!!!

The costs of riders will vary from life insurance carrier, and policy.  IN some situations, one insurance company may provide specific riders that are free.  Also, your age, health, and specific rider will determine what the extra premiums will cost. We aren’t going to cover every rider out there, but mainly cover the ones that are the most important in our opinion.

Important Life Insurance Riders to Consider

Waiver of Premium Rider

The waiver of premium rider will pay your life insurance premium in the event the insured becomes disabled in the future. This rider is available on both term life insurance and whole life insurance policies. Majority of life insurance companies require you to hold the policy for ONE year or longer, before being able to use this particular life insurance rider.

To be able to use this rider, you will have to be totally disabled. The policy will remain in force, for the duration of the policy, without you making premium payments. If electing this rider, you must add it to the policy before it’s issued. Meaning, you can’t start a policy, and then add it one or two years down the road.

To file the claim, and to activate the waiver of premium rider, companies will need proof of your disability, along with you completing a claim form.. Here are some examples:

  • Signed statement from your Doctor stating you are completely disabled, and also providing details of how and when disability occurred
  • Copy of the letter SSA ( Social Security Administration) stating that you are disabled.

Your agent can assist with the claim process, and help you complete all the applicable forms.

Many people find this rider attractive knowing that if they did become disabled, their monthly income would decrease. Being able to pay for your diabetic life insurance policy could become burdensome. You would still need the life insurance coverage, but paying for it would now be done by the life insurance company, with the waiver of premium rider. This gives you peace of mind knowing the policy won’t lapse. 

The cost of this rider may only be a few extra dollars per month. Please speak with our parents by calling 888-629-3034 and they can discuss the costs, and help you determine if this rider is ideal for you.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider

This particularly valuable rider allows the owner of the policy to increase the amount of the death benefit of the diabetes life insurance policy, without providing any proof of their health or insurability. For instance, let’s say your Diabetes condition worsens, you develop diabetes complications, or develop other significant health issues, you could technically add additional coverage, without going through Underwriting or answering health questions.

This rider can be added to your policy, at the time of applying. It cannot be applied once the policy begins. These rides tend to cost a few dollars per month, to add to your policy. Since the insurance company may be at risk of adding additional life insurance coverage in the future, without knowing your health, they will want to recoup as much premium as possible. Also, many diabetes life insurance companies will limit the amount of additional coverage you may be able to take out, without going through traditional underwriting. Our agents can review your options with you, and determine which SPECIFIC life insurance carrier is best for you!

The guaranteed insurability rider can be a very valuable rider for you and your family. As we get older, many people with diabetes may see their diabetic control worsen, or possibly develop heart disease , Cancer, Kidney Disease, or nerve issues. If this were the case, applying for a brand new life insurance policy would be difficult, and you may be declined by most companies. Or you may only qualify for ‘guarantee issued policies’, which are more expensive than traditional policies.

If a person has a terminal illness, they may want to have additional life insurance coverage for their family, and beneficiaries. This guaranteed issue rider would afford the owner the opportunity to take out additional coverage. And when you apply for additional life insurance, they will use your ‘original’ life insurance rating, for the NEW coverage, at the same rating as the original policy. However, additional life insurance is priced at your current age, when you apply for new diabetic life insurance coverage.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

The accidental death benefit rider, can be added to almost any type of life insurance policy for people with Diabetes. With this rider, an additional amount of life insurance in addition to the base death benefit , would pay out if death due to an accidental death.

This rider excludes people who are engaged in illegal activities, or other high risk activities. Some examples are:

  • Rock Climbing
  • Car racing
  • Bull Fighting
  • Skydiving
  • Underwater diving
  • Motorcycle use

We want to reiterate, that if death occurs due to natural causes, only the base amount of the life insurance policy will pay out. Also, the accidental death benefit rider will tend to expire, around age 65 or 70. This cut off age varies from diabetes life insurance provider to provider.

Term Conversion Rider

A term conversion rider would allow a person with diabetes, to convert ALL or PART of their term life insurance policy, to a permanent form of life insurance. This conversion needs to take place before your initial term period expires, or before your turn age 65. The terms will vary from life insurance company to company. Also, this rider is generally at no cost to you, with several life insurance companies that are diabetic friendly.

This rider could be ideal for young people, who initially only need inexpensive term life insurance. In the future, they would be able to convert all or part of their policy to some type of permanent insurance policy. Most companies do not require any additional underwriting, or health questions for this conversion. So if your Diabetes condition worsens, or if you develop other major medical issues, you would not have this held against you when you convert your diabetic life insurance policy

Long Term Care Insurance Rider 

According to Kiplinger, A long-term care rider is an add-on or feature to a life insurance policy or an annuity under IRC §7702B (the Internal Revenue Code concerning the treatment of long-term care) designed to help pay for the costs of long-term care services. Claims paid on these can be either temporary or permanent (as opposed to chronic illness riders, which are only for permanent conditions). In order to qualify for services, they must be recommended by a licensed health practitioner — such as your doctor.

For many people with Diabetes, this Long Term Care rider may be the only way to obtain coverage.  As many people learn over time, finding a stand alone Long Term Care policy is challenging with Diabetes.  Many people can benefit from having a life insurance policy with this beneficial rider attached to it.

Terminal Illness Rider

The terminal illness rider will allow the insured to accelerate up to 95% of their death benefit, while living, if diagnosed with a terminal illness. A terminal illness is one where a medical professional feels you’ll have 12 months or less to live. The owner of policy will have to provide written evidence from his Doctor showing that the illness is terminal, and provide details of the diagnosis.

However much of the policy you accelerate, will offset the death benefit. Example: You have a $500,000 policy, and accelerate $250,000 of the policy while alive. At time of death, the insurance carrier will pay your beneficiary the remaining $250,000. The accelerated death benefit is paid in a lump sum payment.

This life insurance rider is becoming more and more common, and several companies provide it at NO extra cost. It can be available to both permanent and term life insurance policies. Also, many non medical exam life insurance providers provide this on their non medical exam policies.

Chronic Illness Rider

The Chronic Illness rider allows the owner of the policy to receive part of the death benefit upon being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Again, written evidence from your Doctor is required.

To qualify, you need to be unable to perform two activities of daily living, for a period of at least 90 days. Examples of activities of daily living are below, and provided by “ Paying for Senior Care

  • Personal hygiene – bathing/showering, grooming, nail care, and oral care
  • Dressing – the ability to make appropriate clothing decisions and physically dress/undress oneself
  • Eating – the ability to feed oneself, though not necessarily the capability to prepare food
  • Maintaining continence – both the mental and physical capacity to use a restroom, including the ability to get on and off the toilet and cleaning oneself
  • Transferring/Mobility – moving oneself from seated to standing, getting in and out of bed, and the ability to walk independently from one location to another

Any amount you receive while living will again offset the death benefit. This type of rider is available to both Type 1 Diabetics, and Type 2 Diabetics. Many companies offer this rider at no cost, to the Diabetes community. 

Critical Illness Rider

The Critical Illness rider allows the owner of the life insurance policy to receive part of the death benefit if diagnosed with a critical illness. You simply have your Doctor provide written evidence of your condition, along with a claim form.

There are several different qualifying events, that allows a person to accelerate the death benefit.  We are showing the health qualifications for various life insurance providers.

  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction): The death of a portion of the heart muscle resulting from inadequate blood supply. Heart attack does not include angina or the chance finding of electrocardiographic (ECG) changes indicative of a previous Heart Attack. The diagnosis of heart attack must be based on the presence of all of the following:
    • Chest pain and/or dyspnea (shortness of breath);
    • Associated new EKG changes which support the diagnosis; and
    • Elevation of cardiac (heart) biomarker levels which support the diagnosis.
  • Stroke: A cerebrovascular accident or infarction (death) of brain tissue caused by hemorrhage, embolism, or thrombosis lasting more than 24 hours and producing measurable neurological deficit which persists for at least 30 consecutive days following the occurrence of the stroke. Stroke does not include transient ischemic attacks.
  • Diagnosis of cancer: A disease manifested by the presence of one or more malignant tumors and characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of malignant cells and the invasion of normal tissue. Cancer does not include:
    • Any skin cancer, except invasive malignant melanoma into the dermis or deeper;
    • Premalignant lesions, benign tumors, or polyps; or
    • Carcinoma in-situ.
  • Diagnosis of end stage renal failure: End stage renal failure means an irreversible and total failure of both kidneys which requires the undergoing of renal transplantation or regular renal dialysis.
  • Major organ transplant: The receipt by transplant of any of the following organs or tissues: heart, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas, or bone marrow.
  • Diagnosis of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

Getting Life Insurance Coverage with Diabetes

Having Diabetes can add complications to your life. Every simple thing may seem more difficult, such as buying life insurance. That’s why we are here! Our agents ONLY work with the Diabetes community. We understand what companies may be best for your family, including what riders are best for your.  In addition, we like to discuss which life insurance providers offer riders at no extra fees to you.

It’s possible you’ve been declined life insurance because of Diabetes, or even been told your premiums would be sky high. If so please talk to us, and don’t get discouraged. Diabetes Life Solutions was founded by people with Diabetes, who have gone thru the process of applying for diabetes life insurance. We know that you THINK the process can be tedious, but that’s not the case.  We’ve helped thousands of diabetics qualify for the best life insurance possible.

Call us at 888-629-3064. Our agents will make the process of applying for coverage as easy as possible. Let us do all the hard work, and find you an affordable life insurance policy for your family. An initial phone call takes only about 5 minutes. Don’t waste your time with agents who mislead the diabetes community.

Matt Schmidt is a nationally licensed diabetes insurance expert. Over this time frame he's helped out over 10,000 clients secure life insurance coverage with Diabetes. He's frequently authors content to Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Simple Dollar, GoBanking Rates, MSN,, and Yahoo Finance and many more.

Matt Schmidt is also the Co-Founder of Diabetes Life Solutions and Licensed Insurance agent. He’s been working with the Diabetes community for over 18 years to find consumers the best life insurance policies.  Since 2011, he has been a qualified non-member of MDRT, the most prestigious life insurance trade organization in the USA

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