How does an accelerated death benefit rider work?

If you develop a qualifying serious condition or terminal illness, you'll need to prove your condition to your insurer before being able to access your accelerated death benefit. Every insurer has different requirements, so make sure you understand which terminal illnesses or circumstances can qualify you. Some insurers may also allow it to be activated if you need to go into a nursing home or if you develop a critical or chronic condition.

Once your accelerated death benefit rider has been activated, you might be permitted to use anywhere from 25% to 100% of your death benefit while you're still alive, depending on your insurer and policy. You can typically use the payout for anything you want, from paying for an at-home nurse to covering travel expenses, but tax implications may vary by one's circumstances. Any portion you don't withdraw will be paid out to your beneficiaries once you pass away, but premiums are still required to be paid for the benefits to be paid upon the insured's death.

How much does an accelerated death benefit rider cost?

While insurance riders are considered "add-ons" that often cost extra, accelerated death benefit riders are sometimes included in life insurance policies for no cost. Many of these riders, however, treat the accelerated benefits similar to a policy loan. Thus, the eventual death benefit left over is equal to the initial death benefit, less the accelerated amount, minus the interest charged against the accelerated amount.

The accelerated death benefit rider is a relatively new product, and older policies may not include one. If your existing policy doesn't provide for an accelerated death benefits rider, ask your insurer if it can be added. Note that adding the rider may increase your premium.

Should I get an accelerated death benefits rider?

If you're shopping for life insurance now, there's a good chance an accelerated death benefits rider will be automatically included in your policy for no additional cost, meaning there's no downside. If your insurer charges extra for the rider, consider if developing a terminal illness would result in financial stress for you or your loved ones. Depending on the cost, adding the accelerated death benefit rider may be worth the peace of mind that you'd have access to additional funds if you needed them.

You should also compare your insurer's accelerated death benefits rider with their long-term care rider and chronic illness rider. If you're concerned about developing a certain serious health issue, make sure you choose the rider that includes that condition, and that you can afford any increase in premium.

How to get life insurance through Progressive

Get a life insurance quote online in as little as 60 seconds. You'll answer some questions and then choose your payment amount, term length, and other policy details. You can also call 1-866-912-2477 to speak with a licensed representative who can help you find the right policy for you.