Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

What is AD&D Insurance?

AD&D insurance is a policy that pays out benefits to the beneficiary in the event of the policyholder’s accidental death or dismemberment. The term “dismemberment” here refers to the loss of a limb, sight, speech, or hearing resulting from an accident. It’s a supplementary layer of financial protection, often seen as an adjunct to a standard life insurance policy, focusing specifically on accidents – a crucial aspect that is typically not comprehensively covered by traditional life insurance.

Benefit Utilization: The benefits from AD&D can be utilized for various purposes, such as covering medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, or providing financial support to the family in the event of the policyholder’s accidental death.

What About Accidental Life Insurance?

Accidental life insurance is a type of insurance that pays out a death benefit in the event of, you guessed it, an accidental death. This can include deaths from car accidents, falls, drowning, and other accidents. The death benefit is typically a set amount of money paid to the named beneficiary upon the policyholder’s death. Some policies may also provide reimbursement for funeral expenses.

Comparing AD&D With Accidental Life Insurance

Below is a simplified chart comparing Accidental Death Insurance and AD&D Insurance:

ParameterAccidental Death InsuranceAD&D Insurance
DefinitionPays out if the insured dies due to an accident.Pays out if the insured dies or gets seriously injured in an accident.
Coverage– Death due to an accident.– Death due to an accident.
– Dismemberment (loss of limb, sight, etc.) due to an accident.
Exclusions– Death due to non-accidental reasons (illness, natural causes, etc.)– Death due to non-accidental reasons.
– Certain types of accidents (e.g., high-risk activities, drug overdose, etc.)
CostTypically lower than life insurance due to limited coverage.Often cost-effective but varies based on age and coverage amount.
Payout ConditionsIt can pay out in cases of severe injury or death due to an accident.Can pay out in cases of severe injury or death due to an accident.
SuitabilityThose wanting financial protection for beneficiaries in case of accidental death.Those wanting financial protection for themselves (in case of injury) or beneficiaries (in case of death) due to an accident.
Alternatives– Traditional life insurance– Traditional life insurance
– AD&D rider on a life insurance policy

When Does Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance Pay Out?

Knowing when AD&D will pay is key to keeping things clear and helping your loved ones handle the claim smoothly. AD&D insurance gives money when:

  • In the event of an Accidental Death: If the policyholder passes away due to an accident (such as a car crash or a fall), the death benefit is paid out to the designated beneficiaries.
  • In the event of Dismemberment: If the policyholder loses a limb, sight, or hearing due to an accident, they receive a payout, the amount of which is determined by the policy’s schedule of losses, which delineates the percentage of the payout for various types of injuries.


It’s pivotal to note that AD&D insurance has specific exclusions. Deaths resulting from illness, suicide, or natural causes, and injuries from non-accidental events (like war or riot) are typically not covered. Always scrutinize the policy document to comprehend the scope and limitations of the coverage.

Related Reading: Does AD&D Cover Funeral Expenses?

Accidental Death And Dismemberment

Cost Comparison: AD&D vs. Basic Term Life Insurance

An accidental life insurance policy and an AD&D policy are generally cost-effective, costing between $7 to $10 per month per $100,000 of coverage. The actual cost can depend on various factors, including your age, with premiums typically increasing as you age. Despite its affordability, it’s crucial to note that AD&D has specific limitations regarding when it will pay out, as it only covers certain types of accidents, not natural causes or illnesses.

In contrast, traditional term life insurance policies tend to cost more but offer more comprehensive coverage. They provide a death benefit for most causes of death, not just those resulting from accidents, making them a more reliable safety net for your beneficiaries. The cost of a traditional life insurance policy can vary widely based on factors like age, health, lifestyle, and the amount of coverage you choose.

Below is a simplified cost chart that illustrates the potential difference in cost between AD&D and a 20-year term life insurance policy for $100,000 worth of coverage, assuming the individual is in good health. Please note that insurance premiums vary widely based on the insurance company, specific policy terms, and additional underwriting factors.

AgeAD&D Insurance (Estimated Monthly Premium)20-Year Term Life Insurance (Estimated Monthly Premium)
30$7 – $10$10 – $15
40$7 – $10$15 – $25
50$7 – $10$25 – $50


  • AD&D Insurance: The cost is generally lower and does not typically increase with age as sharply as life insurance. The estimated cost is $7 to $10 per month per $100,000 of coverage, as per the previously provided information.
  • 20-Year Term Life Insurance: The cost increases with age and health factors. The estimates provided here are generalized, and actual premiums may vary.

Is AD&D Worth the Investment?

AD&D insurance can be particularly valuable in certain scenarios:

  • Budget-Friendly: It’s a cost-effective solution for those on a tight budget who want to provide financial protection for their dependents.
  • High-Risk Occupations: AD&D can serve as an additional safety net for those in professions with higher accident risks.
  • Supplemental Coverage: It can complement a life insurance policy by covering additional accident-related risks.

However, it’s vital to recognize the limitations of AD&D insurance. It doesn’t provide the comprehensive coverage that a traditional life insurance policy does, given its specific payout conditions related to accidents. Therefore, while it can be a valuable addition, it should not be considered a substitute for a robust life insurance policy.

Example: Consider John, a construction worker, who opted for an AD&D policy considering the risks associated with his profession. Unfortunately, John lost his leg in a work-related accident. His AD&D policy provided a payout (as per the schedule of losses), which assisted him during the rehabilitation phase, covering medical expenses and compensating for lost wages during the recovery period. This real-life example underscores the tangible impact of AD&D insurance in providing financial stability during unforeseen adversities.

How The Claims Process Works

The claims process for AD&D insurance is straightforward yet demands meticulous attention to detail. Ensure that all incident reports, medical records, and, if applicable, police reports are compiled and submitted promptly. Transparency and adherence to the policy guidelines are paramount to facilitate a smooth claims process.



While AD&D insurance offers a level of financial protection and is generally more affordable than traditional life insurance, it should ideally be used to supplement, not replace, a comprehensive life insurance policy. The decision to invest in AD&D should be based on a thorough evaluation of your personal, professional, and financial circumstances, ensuring that it aligns with your overall insurance and financial strategy. Always consider consulting with a licensed insurance professional, like The Annuity Expert, to explore your options and determine the best insurance mix that caters to your unique needs and provides robust financial protection to your loved ones.

AD&D Insurance Help

Feel free to contact us for more information on AD&D insurance. The service is free of charge.

Life Insurance Inquiry

Frequently Asked Questions

Is accidental death insurance a good idea?

Accidental Death insurance can be a good idea to provide financial support in the event of accidental death. However, it’s essential to carefully review the policy and weigh the cost against potential benefits.

What is the difference between life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment?

Life insurance covers any cause of death and provides comprehensive benefits, while AD&D insurance only covers accidental death or dismemberment from a covered accident and is less expensive.

What is accidental life insurance? Is it the same as AD&D

Accidental life insurance policy differs from traditional life insurance policies in providing only coverage for accidental deaths. It does not cover deaths from natural causes like illness or old age. However, accidental death insurance policies are often more affordable than traditional life insurance policies because they are more specific in their coverage. It does not cover dismemberment like an AD&D policy.

Related Reading

*Disclosure: We cannot thank you enough for your support! You should be aware that certain links in this guide are affiliate referrals, and if you purchase a policy through them, I will receive a commission. Your contribution helps us keep our business running successfully – we truly appreciate it!

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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