Imagine you're in a pizza place where you can design your own pizza. You start with the base - maybe it's a classic Margherita. But then you can add extra toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, or even pineapple (if that's your thing). These toppings enhance the pizza, making it more satisfying for your taste buds.

Well, riders in term insurance are like those toppings.

You start with the base plan that suits your needs, and then you can add on extra features that provide additional protection or unique offerings. Adding riders to your term plan can make it more fulfilling and secure for your loved ones.

So now!!, let's delve deeper into the world of term insurance riders and discover how they can benefit you and your loved ones. From critical illness to accidental death, every situation has a rider. So sit back, buckle up, and get ready to explore the world of riders in term insurance – a world of added protection, security, and peace of mind.

What are Riders or Add-ons in Term Insurance plans?

Riders are add-on features you could opt for while buying a Term plan (the base plan). As responsible individuals, we must plan for the future and safeguard our loved ones in case of unforeseen circumstances. And that's where term insurance comes in – a financial safety net that provides peace of mind to you and your family, bit these these term plans also come with additional features that can provide enhanced protection and benefits, commonly known as riders.  

Don't be fooled into thinking that riders are just a flashy add-on to your insurance plan. They serve a vital purpose by enhancing your term insurance with additional benefits at a fraction of the cost of your base plan.

Types of riders in term insurance

  1. Waiver of premium

The Waiver of Premium (WOP) rider is a recommended add-on that you can take along with your term insurance policy. It's an optional rider that can mitigate the risk of failing to pay your term insurance premiums in case you fall seriously ill, become bedridden, critically injured, or disabled while on the job, and have financial obligations to meet.

In such pressing times, the last thing you want to worry about is paying your premiums while dealing with medical issues. By activating the WOP rider, you won't have to worry about paying your premiums and can focus on your health instead. The cost of the WOP rider is quite affordable and can be purchased along with your base plan. The value for the money is high, and different term insurance policies have different diseases that activate the WOP rider, so it's best to check with your insurance provider to understand the terms and conditions of this rider.

2.  Critical illness rider

A critical illness rider is an optional extra that can be added to a term insurance policy. It pays out a lump sum if the policyholder is diagnosed with a critical illness, which can be used to cover expenses related to the illness or replace lost income during treatment. There are two types of critical illness riders available.

The first type is a standalone rider that pays out an additional amount on top of the base policy's sum assured. For example, if the policyholder has a term plan with a sum assured of Rs 1 crore and a critical illness rider of Rs 50 lakhs, and they are diagnosed with a covered critical illness, they will receive Rs 50 lakhs in addition to the base sum assured of Rs 1 crore.

The second type is an accelerated critical illness (ACI) rider, paying out a predefined amount if the policyholder is diagnosed with a critical illness. However, the amount paid under the rider reduces the assured base sum. For instance, if the policyholder has a term insurance plan with a sum assured of Rs 1 crore and an inbuilt ACI rider of Rs 50 lakhs, and they are diagnosed with a covered critical illness, they will receive the agreed amount of Rs 50 lakhs under the ACI benefit. The base sum assured will then be reduced by the same amount, leaving the policyholder with a reduced sum of Rs 50 lakhs instead of Rs 1 crore.

A critical illness rider can be a useful addition to a term insurance policy for financial protection in the event of a serious illness. However, it's important to be aware of the different types of riders available and how they affect the base sum assured of the policy.

3.   Accidental Death benefit

An Accidental Death Benefit rider is an additional feature that can be added to a term insurance policy to provide an extra payout in the event of the policyholder's death due to an accident, such as a road accident. This rider ensures that the policyholder's family receives additional money on top of the base sum assured if the policyholder dies in an accident.

For example, if Mr. A has a term plan with a sum assured of Rs 1Cr and an Accidental Death Benefit rider with a sum assured of Rs 50L and he dies due to a road accident, his family will receive both the base sum assured of Rs 1Cr and the rider benefit of Rs 50L. This can be especially useful for individuals who travel frequently or are on the road for work or recreation, as it provides an extra layer of financial protection for their loved ones.


4.  Terminal Illness rider

The Terminal Illness rider is similar to the Critical Illness rider but with a different purpose. This rider provides a cash benefit if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness listed by your insurance company, and certified by a medical practitioner, indicating that your chances of survival beyond 6 months are slim. The cash benefit can be used as you wish, whether for medical treatments or to secure your loved ones financially.

However, getting a payout through this rider is challenging, as it requires a medical specialist to declare that your days are numbered and the insurance company to accept it after due diligence. Due to the difficulty in getting a payout, we at ditto do not recommend our clients to sign up for this rider.

5.  Life Stage Benefit

A Life Stage Benefit rider is an add-on to a term plan that allows the policyholder to increase their sum cover in case of major life events such as marriage or having children. When such events occur, the cover amount increases by a certain percentage. This rider can be a convenient way to increase coverage instead of buying an additional term plan when more dependents are needed.

However, it's not recommended for married couples who don't plan to have children, have at least one child, have grown-up children, or elderly couples. Life Stage Benefit riders are suitable for unmarried individuals who plan to have a family, married couples with no kids but planning to have children or unmarried individuals who may have children through legal adoption.

6.  Return of premium

The Return of Premium (ROP) rider is an additional feature offered with term insurance policies, which refunds the premium paid by the policyholder at the end of the policy term if they survive the term. If the policyholder lives beyond the policy term, they will receive the full premium paid during the term.

To illustrate, if someone buys a term insurance policy for 20 years with a sum assured of Rs. 50 lakhs and adds the ROP rider, they will pay a higher premium compared to a regular term plan. However, if the policyholder survives the 20-year term without making any claims, they will receive the full premium paid over the term, which could be a substantial amount of money.

Why you must buy term insurance riders?

Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider buying riders, even if it means paying a slightly higher premium:

Streamlined Coverage: With a term insurance policy, you may have a high sum assured, but it may not cover everything. Buying multiple policies can be cumbersome, but adding riders to your existing policy can provide a more streamlined and hassle-free approach.

Cost-Effective: Opting for multiple-term insurance policies can be expensive. However, riders are more affordable and provide the same level of benefits.

Added Support: Term insurance policies are designed to provide financial support to your family after your demise. Adding riders can offer extra protection to your loved ones in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Tax Benefits: Just like your term insurance policy, riders are also eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

In short, investing in term insurance riders is a wise choice for sole earners who want to ensure their family's financial future remains secure. It invests in their happiness, well-being, and peace of mind.


As you navigate the world of term insurance, adding riders can significantly impact your coverage. By selecting a rider that fits your specific needs, you can provide an additional layer of protection for you and your loved ones. Whether it's protecting against unexpected accidents or serious illnesses, riders can offer added peace of mind. However, weighing the potential benefits against the additional costs is important before deciding. By consulting with a knowledgeable insurance advisor, you can make an informed decision and find the right rider to safeguard your family's financial future. Don't wait until it's too late - take control of your protection today.


Can you modify or remove riders from your term insurance policy at a later stage?

Yes, you can modify or remove riders from your term insurance policy. However, the process may vary depending on the insurance company and the type of rider. Some riders may be removed without hassle, while others may require additional paperwork and come with certain terms and conditions. It's always best to check with your insurance provider before making any changes to your policy.

What number of riders can you add to a term insurance policy?

The number of riders you can add to a term insurance policy may vary from one insurance provider to another. Generally, most insurance companies allow policyholders to add up to five riders to a single-term insurance policy. However, it's best to check with your insurance provider for the number of riders to add to your policy.

Can you customize the coverage provided by the riders in Term Insurance policy?

Yes, you can customize the coverage riders provide in term insurance policies to suit your specific needs. Depending on the type of rider, you may have the option to choose the coverage amount, the term of the rider, and other terms and conditions. It's important to discuss your requirements with your insurance provider and select the rider that offers the most comprehensive coverage for your family's financial security.

Can riders be added to Term Insurance policies purchased online?

Yes, riders can be added to term insurance policies purchased online. Many insurance providers offer the option to add riders during the online purchase process. However, the process may differ from one provider to another, and you may need to provide additional documentation or undergo a medical examination to add certain types of riders. It's best to check with your insurance provider for the process of adding riders to your policy.