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A schedule or writing annexed to a document such as a legislative bill or insurance policy.

A rider is an attachment, schedule, amendment, or other writing that is annexed (added) to a document in order to modify it. The changes may be small or large, but in either case the primary purpose of the rider is to avoid rewriting or redrafting the document entirely. The language of the rider is understood to be incorporated into the document. Riders are commonly used in contracts and records and also have complex uses in legislation and insurance. As part of the lawmaking process in both state legislatures and Congress, riders are typically added to bills at a late stage in their evolution. In the insurance industry, riders are added to insurance policies to modify both benefits and the conditions of coverage.

The use of riders in the legislative process is a time-honored tradition. Lawmakers do not add riders immediately but instead wait for the appropriate stage in the evolution of a bill. Traditionally legislative bills start out as proposals that are sent to committees for approval or dis-approval. Once a bill successfully passes out of committee, lawmakers frequently amend it with a rider. The rider may simply add a new clause to the law that is the main subject of the bill, or it may go further and add an entirely new, unrelated law.

The addition of riders reveals much about the political agendas of lawmakers. Riders make ideal opportunities to introduce controversial or unpopular fiscal changes. Often these are attached to appropriations bills, which must be passed annually to fund the operation of state and federal government. Some lawmakers have traditionally seen such bills as the place to add extra appropriations for projects they and their constituents favor—a kind of funding known pejoratively as pork. Conversely, legislators may add riders that cut spending in areas that would attract public protest if the changes were the single subject of a bill and thus more noticeable.

Lawmakers' attempts to add new laws to bills through riders are sometimes controversial. Since a rider need not be related to the subject matter of the bill, legislators sometimes seize the opportunity to further their political agendas. A rider may be attached to a bill in an attempt to sneak through a measure that would not attract majority support if proposed by itself. Sometimes, too, a bill's opponents may attempt to defeat it by adding a controversial rider.

In insurance, riders change the contract, or policy, between the purchaser and the insurance company. Also known as endorsements, they can either expand or restrict the benefits provided by the policy. Thus, for example, personal automobile insurance policies generally cover only typical use of the vehicle. A rider specifies that commercial use of the car will make the policy null and void. This form of insurance rider is called an exclusion.

Riders in Health Insurance policies have other effects. They increase the cost of the policy or even exclude coverage altogether when the purchaser has certain preexisting health conditions. For example, someone suffering from high blood pressure may pay higher costs for insurance. In certain cases the insurer may choose to issue a policy with the stipulation that it will cover certain health-related costs but not those costs associated with the preexisting condition.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) an attachment to a document which adds to or amends it. Typical is an added provision to an insurance policy, such as additional coverage or temporary insurance to cover a public event. 2) in legislatures, a rider is an amendment tacked on to a bill which has little or no relevance to the main purpose of the legislation, but is a way to get the amendment passed if the basic bill has support. 3) passenger.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


an additional clause, amendment, or stipulation added to a legal or other document. In particular, a statement made by a jury in addition to its verdict, such as a recommendation for mercy.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

RIDER, practice, legislation. A schedule or small piece of paper or parchment added to some part of the record; as, when, on the reading of a bill in the legislature, a new clause is added, this is tacked to the bill on a separate piece of paper, and is called a rider.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Blue Moon set a really fast pace in the early part of the National but was then severely hampered by the riderless horses, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli.
Happily, Jackson had the last laugh as she displayed some skill to avoid riderless horses and gained a widemargin victory.
King was full of praise for the part the jockey played in the triumph, especially as the pair were harried by the riderless Armaturk for most of the race.
The gathered press corps at Willie Mullins' open day in Ireland this week had just watched 17 of the stable's budding superstars finish their morning work when a pair of riderless veterans took centre stage in an impromptu match.
A riderless horse joined the procession to symbolise a fallen leader and a pair of Mr Reagan's boots were turned backward in the stirrups to signify the loss of a rider.
A riderless horse, with a pair of Reagan's boots pointing west, hung from the saddle, symbolised the fallen president.
But the drama was not over as Florida Pearl's riderless rival picked himself up and drew alongside on the run to the final fence.
Bradley was unable to stay aboard his misbehaving mount and was left in the stalls by Tuscan Dream, who completed the course riderless.
Before the start second-favourite Quality Mark unseated Graham Lee and cantered riderless up the course, and Level Best unseated his rider on his way to post and gave Joe Fanning a nasty fall.
Graham Lee reported that his mount "had loved it" and the only worry was the presence of a riderless horse, but the seven-year-old took it all in his stride.
As he cut across from the far side of the course to the near rails he was followed by Take The Stand, who had continued riderless after coming a cropper at The Chair on the first circuit.
Eight of the 15 runners completed the course this time, though leading fancy Meadowbank fell at the second and Paddy's Return - who caused the chaos when galloping riderless in last season's National - unseated his rider at the Chair.