What Is Return of Premium Life Insurance?

A return of premium is a form of life insurance provided if the policy remains active premiums are regularly covered, and the policyholder gets a payout if they survive the term. Additionally, the expense of return on premium life insurance generally increases compared to traditional term life insurance.

What Is Return of Premium Life Insurance?

This type of insurance might attract individuals searching to allocate funds for retirement, as the payout at the term’s end is tax-free. Moreover, it’s essential to get other savings alternatives before purchasing premium life insurance, as these policies do not accrue interest on the premiums paid.

How Does it Work

In common-term life insurance, you secure a fixed rate for a specified period of 10, 20, or 30 years. After this term, you can typically renew the policy per year, but at increased rates. In addition, your beneficiaries will collect a payout if you pass away during the policy’s duration. However, if you survive the policy term, no payout occurs.

ROP insurance offers the opportunity to get your monthly premiums if you are alive when the policy term ends. Additionally, some providers permit you to include ROP life insurance coverage into an existing policy through the return of premium riders. However, ROP insurance tends to be more costly in exchange for obtaining an advantage in payback. ROP life insurance provides up to 100% of your premiums back tax-free after the term ends, with administrative fees deducted.

Furthermore, you might not secure a premium refund if you missed premium payments or canceled the coverage. It’s important to understand that specific rules may vary among insurers. Another advantage of ROP life insurance is its ability to increase cash value over time, a feature typically absent in term life policies. As the cash value increases, policyholders get to borrow against the policy, make withdrawals, or surrender the policy for cash if they no longer require coverage.

How Much Does It Cost?

Term life insurance is regularly recognized as a cheap alternative to more costly permanent life insurance options like whole life and universal life insurance.

However, ROP tends to be significantly more costly compared to standard-term life insurance. The ROP could either be a term policy or a rider, which raises your premium because the insurer will refund you at the term’s end.

The coverage it increases for your policy differs due to individual factors such as gender, age, and overall health. Generally, younger individuals in good health can expect lower premiums for such policies.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Return of Premium Life Insurance

Like most insurance choices, Return of Premium life insurance policies have both advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, whether this type of policy is a wise investment depends on your specific circumstances and preferences.


  1. ROP policies serve as a form of forced savings, ensuring that your premiums are returned to you.
  2. Depending on the policy term length, premiums can be refunded in as little as 10 years.
  3. Refunded premiums are not subject to taxation.
  4. ROP policies may be less expensive than whole life insurance and other forms of permanent life insurance.


  1. ROP policies typically incur higher costs compared to basic-term life insurance policies.
  2. Investing or saving additional premium costs elsewhere, such as in an IRA account, might yield higher returns and lower fees.
  3. The value of refunded premiums may be diminished by inflation over time.
  4. Locating the right policy may be more challenging, as not all insurers offer an ROP rider.

Why Get a Return on Premium Life Insurance?

The basic reason for purchasing a premium life insurance policy is risk mitigation. In addition, if you feel uneasy about outliving a term life policy, the higher cost might be worth it.

However, a significant drawback of ROP life insurance is that it essentially provides an interest-free loan to the insurer. If you consider inflation, the refund received at the term’s end may be less valuable since it doesn’t include any interest.

Who Needs the Return of Premium Life Insurance?

Assessing the value of a premium life insurance policy depends significantly on your financial circumstances and objectives. While it may not be necessary for everyone, it does offer certain advantages.

Additionally, returning a premium life insurance policy might be a good choice for individuals capable of affording a few higher monthly payments to secure some savings. However, it’s essential to comprehend that you are not acquiring extra or fresh funds; rather, you’re receiving back money that was originally yours.

Furthermore, as it can offer a saving mechanism if you seek to set aside funds for retirement, there might be alternative savings avenues offering a higher return. In addition, the money you pay into your life insurance premiums doesn’t accrue interest, unlike if you were to invest it in an interest-bearing account instead. Lastly, consulting with a financial advisor can help determine the most suitable option for your needs.


Return of premium (ROP) life insurance can be the best choice in certain situations, based on your comprehensive financial and estate planning requirements.