Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance: Taking Care of Your Family with an Accidental Death Policy


Is your family protected in the case of accidental deaths? Should it be?

These are pressing questions for heads of household, who are tasked with obtaining life insurance to protect their families in the event of their deaths. Life insurance can provide a family with a death benefit if the insured passes away.

However, there are many types of life insurance policies, riders, and additional coverages, like accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

Insurance companies may suggest additional coverages to increase your monthly premium, but are they worth the cost? For example, what is AD&D insurance, and do you need it?

Accidental death insurance can be a rider to an existing policy or a standalone policy. AD&D insurance, or accidental death and dismemberment insurance, can seem like a worthy investment. However, accidental death and dismemberment coverage is often cited as one of the most useless insurance coverages.

It is important to note, though, that an accidental death policy to cover people in the event of accidental deaths can be beneficial for some policy holders.

AD&D life insurance can provide an AD&D beneficiary with funds to help with funeral costs, living expenses, and other important costs in the event of accidental deaths.

AD&D Insurance

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This guide will answer important questions about accidental death insurance to help you decide if AD&D insurance is a worthy investment for you and your family.

AdvisoryHQ will answer important questions, like:

  • What is AD&D insurance?
  • What does accidental death insurance cover?
  • How does AD&D life insurance help an AD&D beneficiary?

Our goal is to provide you with solid information about accidental death & dismemberment coverage to help you make an informed decision about your life insurance and this optional coverage.

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Accidental Death Definition: What Are Accidental Deaths and Dismemberments?

Before we answer “What is AD&D insurance?” it is important to understand the accidental death definition to learn what accidental death & dismemberment coverage specifies.

According to USLegal, the accidental death definition entails an accidental death caused by unforeseen circumstances, such as a drowning or fall resulting in death.

The accidental death definition can also encompass violent injuries caused accidentally by another person, or a disease or infection resulting from an accident.

However, an autopsy must confirm that the infection or disease began within the 30 days after the accident to fall under an accidental death & dismemberment definition and be eligible for coverage under an accidental death policy.

Accidental death and dismemberment, however, also covers you in the event of a dismemberment. Dismemberment can involve the accidental loss of a limb, like an arm or leg, eyesight, hearing, and more.

AD&D insurance may also classify someone with speech problems or paraplegia as a result of an accident as dismembered.

Despite these definitions of accidental death and dismemberment, accidental death insurance providers make the final decision on the types of accidents covered. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly understand prospective AD&D life insurance policies and their coverage before signing up for one.

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What Is Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D Insurance)?

So, what is AD&D insurance, exactly? AD&D insurance differs between insurance companies, so we will provide general information about accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

In the case of an accidental death or injury resulting in the loss of a particular body function, AD&D life insurance can provide a lump sum to the AD&D beneficiary or beneficiaries.

AD&D insurance works much like a life insurance policy. The coverage can be a rider to your life insurance policy, or it can be a standalone policy if you do not currently have life insurance. You pay a monthly premium based on the coverage amount you choose.

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance can provide your AD&D beneficiary with twice as much money in the event of an accidental death, known as double indemnity.

If, for example, you have a life insurance policy for $100,000 and added an AD&D life insurance rider, your policy will pay a lump sum of $200,000 in the case of an accidental death.        



What Does Accidental Death Insurance Cover?

Some insurance companies provide only accidental death insurance, rather than accidental death and dismemberment coverage. It is important to pay attention to this significant difference if you want dismemberment coverage as well.

What does accidental death insurance cover without dismemberment coverage? An accidental death policy will cover you in the event of complete death from an accident, such as a carrier accident involving an airplane or taxi. However, an accidental death-only policy will not cover any loss of body function, such as full AD&D life insurance.

Accidental death and dismemberment policies can cover you in more situations. For example, if you are involved in a workplace accident and suffer paralysis to your arm, you will be the AD&D beneficiary and collect money from your policy.

Usually, if one limb is affected, you’ll receive 50% of your benefits. However, if two or more limbs or body functions are affected, you can collect your full policy benefits. If you are unable to function outside of hospital care, your AD&D beneficiary will receive your benefits to help with medical costs or living expenses as he sees fit.   

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Is AD&D Life Insurance?

Is AD&D life insurance, or are they different policies? AD&D insurance can protect you and your family in the case of accidental death and dismemberment, but it should not be confused with life insurance.

Here are some of the key differences between life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance:

  • Types of death covered: Life insurance covers many forms of death, from illnesses to natural causes, for a specified timeframe, usually 10 to 30 years. 

    In contrast, AD&D life insurance will not protect the insured in the event of anything but an accidental death or dismemberment. Even then, several exclusions may apply, depending on your policy.

  • Confirmation: Both life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance require medical confirmations of a death claim. However, for someone who passed away from natural causes, like cancer or old age, it can be much easier to prove the death to collect on life insurance benefits. 

    However, what is AD&D insurance required to obtain before paying out? The company will want proof that the death was the direct result of an accident, and the death must have occurred within the company’s specified timeframe after the accident took place. Significant medical proof may be required for an AD&D beneficiary to receive benefits.

  • Exclusions: Life insurance policies can include specific events that would affect the payout to a beneficiary. For example, some policies do not readily cover suicide, death from extreme events like skydiving, or even death from military service. You may need to purchase extra insurance to cover these possible deaths.AD&D insurance tends to be even more choosy than life insurance, and you do not usually have the option to extend your coverage. Your AD&D life insurance policy will outline specified timeframes (the death must have occurred after an accident) and types of accidents excluded from paying your AD&D beneficiary.    

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What Is AD&D Insurance Excluding?

It is important to read the fine print of any accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy to understand its exclusions. Unfortunately, some AD&D insurance policies may have too many exclusions to be worth the cost.

Some of the most common accidental death and dismemberment exclusions include:

  • Unforeseen death or dismemberment from pre-existing conditions
  • Self-inflicted accidental death, such as by suicide or reckless driving
  • Accidental death or dismemberment due to negligence, such as failing to wear a seat belt
  • High-risk activities, like surgery, mountain climbing, or military combat, that result in a death or dismemberment
  • Accident resulting from drug or alcohol use

When you research policies, be sure to ask yourself, “What is this AD&D insurance excluding?” The exclusions of an accidental death and dismemberment policy will directly affect your AD&D beneficiary and can render your policy useless for your needs.   



How Is an AD&D Beneficiary Named? What Does Accidental Death Insurance Cover for a Beneficiary?

What is AD&D insurance going to do for your beneficiary? This is one of the most important questions you should ask when deciding if AD&D insurance is right for you.

In the event of an accidental death, your AD&D beneficiary will receive your full benefit, so long as the insurance company rules that your death qualifies. So, if you had a $150,000 AD&D life insurance policy, your beneficiary will receive that amount in a lump sum after the claims process is complete.   

Accidental Death And Dismemberment

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In the event of an accidental dismemberment, you will receive your benefit, unless you are physically unable to make financial decisions. Then, your benefit will go to your AD&D beneficiary.

To name your beneficiary, you will need to contact your insurance company. You can usually do this when you sign up for your new policy.

If you need to change your beneficiary at a later date, contact your insurance company. They will walk you through the process and provide the necessary paperwork to change your beneficiary. Make sure you do this as soon as possible to keep your policy up to date.   

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What Is AD&D Insurance Beneficial for?

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance is not for everyone. In fact, illnesses are much more likely to result in death than accidents, which rank number 4 for cause of death.

However, some employees who work at particularly dangerous jobs, like construction, fishing, and logging, may benefit from this insurance. More dangerous jobs are making this insurance available to their employees as an optional coverage in the case of an accidental death.

If you work near, or with, dangerous equipment most of the time at work, accidental death and dismemberment insurance can create a cushion for you and your family, in the case of an accident on the job. It can provide more benefits when added to a worker’s compensation plan.

However, for most people, it is recommended to purchase additional life insurance coverage rather than pay for accidental death and dismemberment coverage. Use the premium amount you could pay for AD&D coverage and put it toward more coverage for your life insurance policy to create a more comprehensive coverage.   



Conclusion: Is Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Worth the Cost?

We hope we answered your question, “What is AD&D insurance and how can it help me?” AD&D coverage is not for everyone, but it can give some people peace of mind, knowing that their family will receive benefits in case of an accidental death.

Additionally, if you become accidentally dismembered or lose function of certain body parts related to an accident, you can receive benefits to help you pay for medical costs and living expenses while you are in recovery. That cushion alone is the key factor for some people to decide that AD&D insurance is a good choice for them.

Although AD&D coverage may not provide you with as much of a safety net as life insurance, it can be a good addition to a life insurance policy if you have the extra money to spend.

However, many expert suggest using the money you would put toward an accidental death and dismemberment insurance monthly premium to purchase additional life insurance. The conditions under which a qualified accident occurs happen so rarely, that the insurance could be a money waster for most people.

Only you can decide if accidental death and dismemberment coverage is beneficial to you. Ensure that you read the fine print of prospective policies and do your research before making a final decision. 



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