Skip to Content
Multigenerational family talking on couch representing that different stages require different insurance policy types.
Policy Types

Return of premium riders

Some term life insurance policies come with optional policy riders such as the return of premium rider. This article takes a look at what a term life return of premium rider is and how it works.

When you buy a life insurance policy, you may have the option of adding a wide array of policy benefit riders that can be a way to customize your coverage.

Commonly referred to as policy riders or special endorsements, these features can be attached to a basic policy contract to enhance the flexibility and fit of the policy to meet your specific needs. One such rider is a term insurance return of premium rider.

What is a return of premium rider and how does it work?

A term insurance return of premium rider is typically offered as a separate endorsement on your term life insurance policy. Although, some life insurance companies may write specific policies that already include the built-in benefit of a return of premium rider.

It works by providing you, the policy holder, a return of your premium dollars if you are still alive when your term policy comes to an end. For example, if you purchased a 20-year term policy at age 30 and now, 20 years later at age 50 you're still alive, your money will be refunded to you.

Premiums can be pricey

The premiums for adding a term insurance return of premium rider, or purchasing a policy with this built-in provision, will typically cost you more than a traditional term policy or a term policy without the rider. For this reason, you'll want to consider whether or not it's worth the additional cost compared to buying a traditional term policy for a longer term, increasing your death benefit coverage, or even purchasing a permanent* life insurance policy.

When it comes to policy riders, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to whether any one rider (or multiple riders) are right for you. Speak to your agent or company representative who can help you weigh all of your policy options to find out what's best for your individual needs.


Note: Not all life insurance companies offer the same type of policy riders. In addition, riders are subject to underwriting and may not be available with certain health conditions or occupations.

*As long as required premium payments are timely made.



Arrows linking indicating relationship

Related Articles

Large family taking a selfie while on vacation

Whole life vs. universal life insurance

Learn more
A young couple biking along the ocean with the benefit of having permanent life insurance.

3 benefits of permanent life insurance policies

Learn more
A mother wearing a baby holder while browsing her phone for life insurance policies.

Should a stay-at-home parent have a life insurance policy

Learn more
All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective and its products and services, visit

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective or its subsidiaries.