|Question: Will I have to pay life insurance premiums if I become disabled?|
If you become disabled and your life insurance policy contains a waiver-of-premium benefit, you will not have to pay the life insurance premiums as long as you are disabled. However, the disability must be total and must last for at least six months. Certain exclusions also apply.
Some life insurance contracts automatically provide the waiver-of-premium benefit. For most contracts, the benefit is optional, and when you apply for coverage, you must ask that a rider be attached to your policy to receive the benefit. In the latter case, you will pay an additional premium. Call your agent or check your policy to find out if you have this benefit.
Life insurance policies specifically require that the disability be total. The definition of total disability depends on your contract. Most contracts define it as disability resulting from injury or disease that prevents the insured from engaging in any occupation for which he or she is trained by education and experience. Read your policy carefully to be sure you understand your insurance company's definition.
The waiver-of-premium provision has a waiting period of six months. That is, the insurance company waits six months from the beginning of your disability before it actually waives the premium. So, you must continue to pay life insurance premiums until the six months have passed, regardless of the severity of your disability. If the waiting period is over and you are still totally disabled, the insurance company will waive the premiums retroactively.
There are some injuries for which the waiver-of-premium provision does not apply. These exclusions include intentional self-inflicted injuries and those resulting from war while the insured is in the military. Also, contracts may limit the benefit to those under the age of 60.