What Is a Waiver of Premium for Life Insurance?

Life insurance riders are optional provisions added on to a main life insurance policy. One common type of rider is the waiver of premium, which can be added to many life insurance companies.


The waiver of premium rider for life insurance allows for a person who becomes disabled to stop paying the fees required to maintain your life insurance policy. This continues for as long as the disability continues.


In order for the waiver of premium rider to be effective, the insured must be "totally" disabled. The exact definition of what constitutes a total disability varies from policy to policy, but generally, it means that the insured cannot work at all.

Time Frame

Life insurance companies have a waiting period from the start of the disability until the premium is waived, and this time frame is normally six months. When the six month period ends, the insurance company usually returns all of the premiums that were paid during the waiting period.


Normally, the waiver of premium rider protects the insured until the age of 65, and any disability after that time does not result in a premium waiver. However, if you become injured before the age of 65, the waiver of premium rider remains effective until you are no longer disabled, even if that occurs after the age of 65.


Both term and permanent life insurance policies offer waiver of premium riders, but this added benefit is not available for every policy offered by every insurance company. A licensed insurance agent will be able to help you select a policy with a waiver of premium if it is the best option for you.