Spouse Insurance Rider

Written by Jeff Root

If you need coverage for your spouse, and you have a policy or are getting a policy, the Spouse Insurance Rider can potentially save you both money.

With most companies, you can add this feature to permanent life insurance policies, all of the permanent policies they offer, and in some cases, you can also add it to a Term Policy, regardless of the length of the term.

What is the Spouse Insurance Rider?

spouse life insurance riderThe Spouse Insurance rider is an extra feature that allows you to take out coverage for your spouse as part of your existing policy instead of having your spouse take out an individual policy.

You can add your spouse to your policy typically with a lower death benefit and a term limit, with much less hassle and less cost compared to your spouse taking out an individual policy with that company or another company.

Who is Eligible? 

Anyone who works with a life insurance company that provides the spouse Insurance Rider for their given policy is eligible to take out coverage so long as they meet the policy requirements and minimum face value requirements. These are going to change from one company to the next.

If you work with Nationwide, for example, you can add the spouse Rider to your insurance policy and it provides level term insurance for your spouse but it doesn’t provide them with permanent coverage even if you already have a permanent life insurance policy.

There are certain points during the life of the policy where you can convert the term life insurance into a permanent life insurance policy but companies like Nationwide have certain age limits. In fact, if you take out this Rider or your spouse the policy benefit ends once your spouse reaches a certain age or if your policy the term policy and it expires.

Who is the Spouse Insurance Rider Best for? 

This benefit is something that you should absolutely consider if you have a spouse who might have a high-risk class or might be older. These things can impact the cost of a premium policy if your spouse tries to take out an individual policy.

If you need supplemental coverage for your spouse that might also be something to consider especially if existing policies are insufficient.  One thing to consider is that if the primary policy holder passes away, the spouse loses coverage and that benefit is no longer effective.

So, the remaining spouse would have to find new coverage which will likely cost more than if they had purchased an individual policy early on. Similarly is the marriage ends with divorce the benefit no longer covers the spouse and they will have to find coverage on their own.

Pros and Cons


1. Far Less Expensive than an Additional Life Insurance Policy for Your Spouse

The benefits you receive with a spouse Insurance Rider are the cost Savings. In most cases, if you don’t need a separate policy with the same coverage amount as you have, you might only need $50,000 in death benefits for the other spouse because they are not the sole income provider or they don’t have any extra debts or anything in between.

Life insurance companies typically charge a flat rate based on the health category and age per unit of coverage. A unit of coverage is typically $1,000.  It is less expensive for you to add your spouse to your policy by taking advantage of the spouse Insurance Rider then it would be for each of you to take out individual policies because of this charge per unit of coverage.

2. Affordable Life Insurance Coverage All in One for You and Your Spouse 

The rates that you receive from different life insurance companies for adding your spouse to your existing policy are going to cost less than if you were to both take out individual policies for comparatively the same amount of death benefit.


1. Not Every Company and Policy Offers the Spouse Insurance Rider

The drawbacks are that not every company offers this benefit.

Some companies require you to set up the benefit before you start your policy so if you already have a policy you might have to cancel it or wait for it to expire in order to take advantage of this benefit.

2. Maximum Spouse Life Insurance Coverage of $100,000 (Usually) 

Moreover, many of the companies that do provide this rider do so with strings such as a minimum face value of $100,000 or an expiration date based on age.

How Much Does the Spouse Insurance Rider Cost? 

Adding the spousal Rider is still possible but not nearly as common today as it once was. For example, United of Omaha offers this feature but they do require a minimum coverage of $100,000 for the spouse in question. Lincoln benefit life is similar to United of Omaha but they require $50,000 for spousal Coverage.

Nationwide requires a minimum amount of $125,000 in face value for the original policyholder and a minimum $25,000 for the spouse being covered under the rider. In terms of cost, it is going to vary based on which company you choose and how much the coverage is.

If you are in your fifties for example and you want to add this to an existing policy through Lincoln benefit life, the cheapest option might be $140 per month for you to cover your spouse with a $50,000 death benefit.

If, for example, a husband already had an individual policy and now his wife wanted a policy, the cost of a 15-year, $100,000 Term Policy for the male might be $50 per month and to take out $10,000 worth of final expense coverage for the spouse might cost $57 per month which brings the total to $107 per month.

Comparatively, if that same male simply added his wife with the spousal Rider it could save $34 per month for the same amount of coverage.

Now, these figures are going to vary based on:

  • Company
  • Coverage Amounts
  • Age
  • Health

….and other features of the applicants but generally speaking it will cost less to use the spouse insurance rider than it will take out a second individual life insurance policy.

Best Life Insurance Companies for a Spouse Insurance Rider

Company A.M. Best Rating
Protective A+
Banner A+
Prudential A+
Lincoln Financial A+
North American A+
Phoenix Life B
Principal A+
American National A
Ameritas (FLX Living Benefits Products) A+
Sagicor A-
Assurity A-
Americo A
John Hancock A+
About Best Life Insurance Companies
About Best Life Insurance Companies

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