The good old days of just offering a few life insurance riders that have been around for 50 years are over. Today, companies are offering a plethora of riders that cover everything from unemployment to critical illness.
Common riders such as waiver of premium, guaranteed insurability options, accidental death and dismemberment, and term riders have been around the industry for a long time.
The waiver of premium rider always has been the most popular rider and still is today.
However, new riders are coming to market and others that were only offered in the niche markets are quickly gaining in popularity in the mainstream marketplace.
The accelerated death benefit rider started innocently enough more than 15 years ago covering terminal illness. It now has branched out to chronic illness (inability to perform two of six activities of daily living) and critical illness. It is difficult to find a life insurance product today that does not offer an accelerated benefit rider.
From accelerated benefit riders, the benefit evolved into long term care riders. Additional riders were added to these riders such as the extension of benefit rider, benefit restoration rider and residual death benefit rider. While these last riders are currently sold more often in the worksite marketing arena, they are beginning to be more popular in the mainstream marketplace.
The return of premium (ROP) rider has been around for a long time in the mortgage term market, going almost unnoticed by many in the insurance industry. Then, about 10 years ago, a couple of the leading term writers started offering ROP, and it has swept across the industry since then.
Some life companies are selling the ROP rider on 75% of their term products. Almost all that have the rider available are selling ROP riders on at least 20% of their term products.
Recently, a company expanded its ROP rider to include an enhanced cash value rider. The ROP feature is also showing up in other product lines as guaranteed cash back or you-get-your-money-back features. This trend is sure to continue evolving and expanding.