broken man Life insurance policies typically offer a waiver of premium rider that pays the premiums on your life insurance while you are on disability. In fact, the American Council of Life Insurers says that 87 percent of all life insurance policies in force in 2010 included a waiver of premium rider.

A waiver of premium rider is an option you can add to your life insurance policy. It will cost you a little extra. The cost depends on a variety of factors including the size of your insurance policy, the type of life insurance you have, your age, your health, your avocations and your occupation.

Even if an insurance company offers you life insurance, the company may not be willing to offer a waiver of premium rider. If you are in a high risk profession, you may not be eligible or may have to pay more for the rider. High-risk professions include obvious jobs such as police officers and firefighters, and some less obvious jobs such as nurses and postal workers. For example, any job that involves heavy lifting could lead to more than one disability leave due to back pain and back injuries.

How a waiver of premium rider works

To qualify for a waiver of premium rider, most insurance companies require you to be between the ages of 18 and 60.

Typically, insurance companies require a waiting period of six months before premiums are waived. Once you have provided evidence that you have been disabled for at least six months, premiums will be paid going forward and you will be reimbursed for the premiums you have paid while disabled. If you are disabled again for the same reason, you won't have to wait six months for your premiums to be paid. However, if you have become disabled for a different reason or a new injury, you will have to wait six months before your premiums are paid.

Most insurance companies allow for an unlimited number of disabilities and will continue to pay the premiums until age 65 if you become permanently disabled.

A waiver of premium rider protects your life insurance premiums if you are totally disabled, but there are no benefits provided through this rider if you are partially disabled.

If you can qualify for a waiver of premium rider, you may want to pay a little extra on your insurance bill for the added protection.