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Ask Dave

Special needs coverage

Alicia and her husband have a special needs child. She asks if they should take advantage of the child rider on their insurance policy. Dave thinks it's a good idea in their situation and explains why.

QUESTION: Alicia and her husband have a son with special needs, who had a frightening episode a few months ago. She asks Dave if it would be wise to take advantage of the inexpensive child rider on their insurance policy, since they are still two or three years away from being debt-free and having a fully funded emergency fund.

ANSWER: Yeah, I would do that at this stage of the game. A child rider is guaranteed issue in most cases, meaning they don’t do a medical exam or they’re not going to worry about the special needs issue — most of the time. Just make sure that it is what they call “guaranteed issue,” meaning there’s no medical exam needed on him for that to be issued.

I definitely would pick that up, even if you weren’t facing the things you’re facing. We carried them on our kids for a period of time, and they were not kids with special needs and didn’t have any medical issues. We carried child riders until we had enough wealth to, God forbid, pay for funeral expenses if something had happened to one of them.

Thank you for your call, and thank you for having the heart of a mother.