Minus/plus icon
ResourcesExplore the full ACKO experience and make the most of your plan

Home / Life Insurance / Articles / Life Insurance Riders / Terminal Illness Rider in Insurance

Terminal Illness Rider in Insurance

TeamAckoJul 14, 2024

In today's uncertain world, it's not uncommon to receive a terminal illness diagnosis out of the blue. Along with the emotional turmoil that comes with it, families are left with the daunting task of handling the medical bills that come with the necessary care. That's where a Terminal Illness Rider can come in handy. This rider offers extra financial support specifically for terminal illnesses







Partial claim:  Flexibility to claim some part of life cover

Potential premium increases:  Adding this rider to a life insurance plan increases the premium

Extra life cover:  Additional life cover at low premium rates

Coverage limitations:  The rider provides limited coverage to the policyholder

Offers Flexibility:  Flexibility to use terminal illness insurance cover

Complexity:  Adding this rider to a life insurance plan makes it more complicated

Exempted from tax:  Premiums qualify for tax benefits to the policyholder  

Impact on death benefit:  Using this rider reduces the amount paid out to the beneficiary

What is Terminal Illness Rider?

By definition, a terminal illness is one with a prognosis of only a few years at most. A terminal sickness is a life-threatening medical disease that cannot be cured. Below are a few examples of fatal diseases.

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's (two of the many forms of dementia), lung disorders, advanced cancer stages, tumours, and other conditions are terminal illnesses.

Insurance for terminal diseases can help the patient and their loved ones cope financially with a diagnosis like this by covering the high expense of medical care.

A terminal illness rider is an extra feature that can be added to a life insurance policy to enhance financial coverage. This rider allows the policyholder to access a portion of the death benefit if diagnosed with a terminal illness. The money received from it can be used to pay for continuous care, cover medical expenses or any other financial needs. 

This extra layer of protection provides comfort, enabling the policyholder and their loved ones to concentrate on their health and standard of living.

Let's understand terminal illness rider with an example:

Take 40-year-old Sushma, a mother of two, who bought a term insurance policy with a Terminal Illness Rider. She was given a few months to live when she was given a stage 4 cancer diagnosis five years later. Thankfully, her insurance permitted her to take early withdrawals of the sum guaranteed, which helped her pay for medical bills and support her family.

How Does Terminal Illness Rider Work?

If you have this rider, you can receive a portion of the insurance payout that your family would get if you passed away from a serious illness. This provides you and your loved ones financial security for a long time – known as Accelerated Death Benefit or Living Benefit. Your provider will determine the exact amount of your death benefit, but it will typically be a fraction of the total death benefit.

The coverage these riders provide is distinct from that provided by Critical Illness Riders. Terminal Illness riders provide financial protection when you or a loved one are at a stage where recovery is extremely doubtful. There is an additional premium, but the protection it provides might be rather significant.

Differences Between Critical Illness and Terminal Illness

While both Critical Illness and Terminal Illness can be devastating, there are important distinctions between the two. Let’s take a quick look at the differences.




Serious health conditions that can be life-threatening or disabling.

Illness that is expected to lead to death within a year.


Life can be prolonged with medical treatment and management.

Death is imminent despite medical treatment.

Signs of illness

Symptoms are often sudden and severe, with the potential for organ failure.

Excruciating and ongoing suffering Symptoms include extreme Tiredness, Nausea, Vomiting, Constipation, Anxiety, Depression, and Breathing difficulties.


Kidney failure, bypass surgery, organ transplant, multiple sclerosis, and similar conditions are all critical illnesses that fall under this umbrella.

Advanced cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease. 

What is a Term Life Insurance Plan?

A term life insurance policy provides coverage for a fixed duration, commonly known as the "term" of the policy. If the policyholder passes away within this term, their beneficiaries will receive a death benefit payout. After the term ends, the policyholder has the option to renew the policy or allow it to expire.

  • When a policyholder passes away, an insurance policy serves as a contract that provides a payout to one or more beneficiaries. 

  • The insurance company offers this monetary support to aid the family members of the deceased policyholder.

Many insurance providers offer Term Insurance Plans, which can be compared online to find the best one. Individuals or families can easily purchase Term Insurance online, with the option to cover one person or multiple individuals.

You can check out the ACKO Life Flexi Term Plan, an exceptionally flexible, affordable, and simple term plan that ensures comprehensive protection at affordable rates and peace of mind. This plan allows for easy modification of coverage to accommodate various life stages and financial circumstances. Its key advantages include:

Adaptable Policy Tenure

Cost-Effective Premiums

Flexibility in Sum Assured

Will Creation Services

Easy and Simple

Adaptable Payout Options

What’s more? 

  • Digitally-Driven: The policy streamlines management, purchase, and claims processes, simplifying them and saving considerable time and effort.

  • Riders: Options to add riders for extra protection. 

  1. ACKO Life Accidental Death Benefit Rider

  2. ACKO Life Accidental Total Permanent Disability Benefit Rider

  3. ACKO Life Critical Illness Benefit Rider

ACKO's dedication to customer-centric solutions makes the ACKO Life Flexi Term Plan a trustworthy option for individuals seeking flexible and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Benefits of a Terminal Illness Rider in a Term Insurance Policy

Here are three key reasons to consider adding this protection to your term life insurance policy.

  • Designed to substitute for lost wages

Adding a rider for terminal disease to a term insurance policy can provide financial security in case of unforeseeable events. This rider can also cover medical testing and protect against out-of-pocket medical costs. Some term insurance policies even include a Return of Premium (ROP) feature.

  • Safeguards against potentially fatal medical emergencies

If you have term life insurance but no Terminal Illness Rider, your beneficiaries will only get the death benefit of the term plan. In case of the policyholder's death or serious illness, this protection will provide a financial safety net to help with unexpected medical expenses and replace lost income.

  • Guaranteed higher payouts at very inexpensive premiums

Term Insurance policies with Terminal Illness Benefits provide complete coverage at affordable rates, unlike traditional medical policies that raise premiums at the end of each term. This is because treating a terminal illness can cost around Rs.20 Lakhs on average for treatment. Additionally, fewer people have life insurance policies that cover terminal illnesses compared to common medical issues.

How to Buy Terminal Illness Rider?

To get a Terminal Illness Rider for your life insurance policy, follow these general steps: 

  1. Contact your life insurance company or agent to learn more about adding the Terminal Illness Rider to your current policy or a new one you want to purchase. 

  2. If necessary, submit to medical underwriting or provide any relevant medical information. Insurance companies could ask you to provide medical documents or have a medical examination to evaluate your health. 

  3. Review the terms and conditions of the Terminal Illness Rider, noting the definition of "terminal illness," the amount of the hastened death benefit, and the waiting time before claiming the benefit. 

  4. Choose how much coverage you wish for the Rider with Terminal Illness. This is usually expressed as a percentage, like 50% or 75%, of the death benefit of your standard life insurance policy. 

  5. Purchase the Terminal Illness Rider. Your age, your health, and the level of coverage you select will all affect how much the rider will cost.

  6. Finish and sign the application paperwork or letters of endorsement required to include the Terminal Illness Rider in your policy. 

  7. Once approved, it will be added to your life insurance policy, and you will receive updated policy documentation showing the rider's installation. 

Choosing the Right Terminal Illness Rider in India

Here are some key steps to help you make the right choice:

  1. Understand Your Needs: Assess your financial condition, health state, and family commitments to decide how much coverage you need in the case of a terminal disease. Consider current health insurance coverage, outstanding bills, and ongoing financial obligations.

  2. Research Insurance Providers: Investigate numerous insurance companies in India that give Terminal Illness Riders as part of their life insurance plans. Look for insurers with a solid reputation for dependability, customer service, and financial stability.

  3. Compare Rider Features: Evaluate the features and advantages of Terminal Illness Riders provided by various insurers. Look for riders that offer complete coverage, including a lump sum payment upon diagnosis of a terminal disease, without dramatically raising the price.

  4. Review Policy Terms and Conditions: Read each Terminal Illness Rider's terms and conditions carefully to understand the coverage limits, exclusions, waiting periods, and claim procedures. Pay attention to the definition of a terminal disease, the minimal surviving duration, and the payout requirements.

  5. Consider Premium Costs: Compare the premium expenses for Terminal Illness Riders from various insurers. While cost is vital, choose riders that provide appropriate coverage at a fair premium rate.

Factors Affecting Terminal Life Insurance Premium

Several variables determine the premium for a Terminal Illness Rider or Terminal Life Insurance policy. Here are the main factors:

  1. Age: Age has a substantial impact on premiums. In general, younger people pay lower rates than older people since they are thought to be less likely to suffer fatal illnesses or die soon.

  2. Health Status: The applicant's health plays an important part in deciding the premium. To assess the risk, insurers may order a medical checkup or ask health-related questions. Individuals with pre-existing medical illnesses or poor habits may face higher rates.

  3. Coverage Amount: The amount of coverage chosen for the Terminal Illness Rider has a direct influence on the premium. Higher coverage amounts result in higher rates since the insurer bears more financial risk.

  4. Term Length: The length of the term, or the time for which the insurance provides coverage, influences the premium. Longer terms often have higher rates because of the longer length of coverage and the increased risk of a terminal disease happening during that time.

  5. Gender: Insurers may charge different rates depending on gender, as actuarial data may show differences in life expectancy and risk variables between men and women.

  6. Occupation and Lifestyle: Certain employment or lifestyles linked to greater risk factors, such as hazardous occupations or involvement in extreme sports, may result in higher premiums owing to an increased chance of accidents or terminal illnesses.

  7. Family Medical History: A family history of inherited disorders or fatal illnesses may boost the premium since it raises the individual's risk profile. Insurers may question the applicant's family medical history throughout the underwriting process.

Why is the Terminal Illness Rider Necessary?

Medical treatment costs have skyrocketed in the country in recent years, and medical expenses related to hospitalisation and treatment of a terminal illness can become a burden on the individual and their family members. The Terminal Illness Rider provides financial protection to the insurer in the event of being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Additional Riders Available

  1. Accidental Death Benefit Rider: This rider pays an additional lump sum to the beneficiary if the insured dies due to an accident.

  2. Critical Illness Rider: The insured can receive a portion of their death benefit if diagnosed with a designated critical illness, such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke.

  3. Waiver of Premium Rider: In the event of total disability, this rider waives future premium payments while keeping the insurance in effect.

  4. Disability Income Rider: This rider pays the insured a monthly income benefit if they become incapacitated and unable to work.

  5. Accelerated Death Benefit Rider: Like the Terminal Illness Rider, this rider enables the insured to obtain a part of their death benefit if diagnosed with a qualifying chronic or terminal illness.

Wrapping it up

A term insurance plan with a terminal illness benefit is a great choice for people who are more likely to have a terminal disease in the future. Some insurance companies include coverage for terminal illnesses in their basic plans, or you may add these benefits as a rider to your base term plan and pay extra for them. These further advantages guarantee that you should constantly maintain your immunity to potentially fatal illnesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions on Terminal Illness Rider in Insurance


Do I need to have a medical exam to add a Terminal Illness Rider to my life insurance policy?

No, typically you do not need to have a medical exam to add this rider to your life insurance policy. However, some insurers may require you to take a medical exam to buy a Term Life Insurance Policy. 

Could I buy a Terminal Illness Rider as a standalone policy, apart from my life insurance coverage?

No, it is an add-on to a life insurance policy and cannot be purchased separately.

Is there an additional cost to add a Terminal Illness Rider to my life insurance policy?

Yes, there may be an additional cost to add this rider to your life insurance policy. The cost will depend on the insurer and the specifics of your policy.

How is the benefit paid out if I am diagnosed with a terminal illness?

The benefit is typically paid out in a lump sum and can be used in any way you choose. This can include paying for medical expenses, living expenses, or other costs associated with your illness.

Can the Terminal Illness rider be added to any term insurance policy?

Yes, a Terminal Illness Rider can be added to many term insurance policies offered by insurance providers. This may include various types of term insurance such as level term, decreasing term, and increasing term policies. 

What happens to the policy after the terminal illness rider is utilised in term insurance?

Following the utilisation of the Terminal Illness Rider in Term Insurance, the policy persists with a reduced sum assured.

Does the Terminal Illness Rider impact the remaining death benefit?

The accelerated payout received through the terminal illness rider reduces the death benefit payable to the policyholder's beneficiary upon demise.

What is a terminal illness benefit payout?

It pays a tax-free lump amount upon diagnosis of a severe medical condition. The goal is to ease the financial burdens connected with the condition, such as continuous medical expenses or changes to living arrangements. 

Is accelerated terminal illness benefit the same as terminal illness benefit?

No, the accelerated terminal illness benefit provides an early payout upon terminal disease diagnosis, which is taken from the death benefit. The terminal illness benefit provides a separate lump sum payment for terminal sickness.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.


Want to post any comments?


ACKO Term Life insurance reimagined

Let's build a perfect life insurance cover for you
Your Name
Your gender
Have you smoked in the past 12 months?
Your age
Your pin code
Your phone number
ARN: L0053 | *T&Cs Apply

ARN:L0072|*T&Cs Apply

quote icon

Check life insurance

quote icon