Strategically, we can use riders to accomplish several things. Marilee explained that. Here is one that works for me. One of the life insurance policies that I have has a long term care rider. What this does is make is so that if I need long term care, the death benefit becomes a living benefit that pays for expenses related to that. Take it one step further. One day we will buy true long term care coverage. But with the life/ltc policy in place, we have about one year's worth of benefit that is payable (and, yes, I can make that a longer period of time). That means that we can purchase the actual LTC with a one year waiting period vs a shorter waiting period. Doing it that way cuts the cost of the LTC plan dramatically. See how a rider on life insurance can lead to structuring LTC for less money out of pocket? And, if LTC is never needed, this permanent life insurance plan will pay a death benefit when I leave the planet. Sometimes, owning true LTC can have a drawback: we may never use it after years of paying for it. I know that one day I will use my life insurance, guaranteed. Living benefit riders are getting a lot of attention lately. You may want to take a closer look.