Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance, also known as AD&D insurance, provides benefits if the policyholder dies or is injured in an accident. It can be a valuable addition to your overall insurance coverage, and it’s essential to understand how it works before deciding whether to purchase a policy. This guide will discuss what AD&D insurance is and how it can help protect you and your loved ones in an accident.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Quotes

Use our Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance calculator to shop for quotes and apply instantly.

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

AD&D insurance protects you and your loved ones in a fatal accident and covers non-fatal accidents involving dismemberment or loss of vision/hearing acuity. Furthermore, it covers related medical expenses and pays out benefits due to accidental death.

The policies may also include benefits for burial or funeral services and surviving family members who need financial assistance. In addition, the policy will provide money to help pay for lost wages due to an injury sustained in an accident covered under the plan. AD&D insurance is a good supplement to life insurance when providing additional financial protection for you and your family in an unexpected or tragic accident.

How Does Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance Work?

Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance provides financial compensation for the loss of life, limbs, or eyesight due to an accident. A life insurance policy pays out in the event of death or severe injury due to an unexpected and unforeseen accident. Depending on the terms of coverage, AD&D insurance can pay out to the beneficiary or estate of a policyholder who has died due to an accident. It may also provide benefits for accidental medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral costs.

AD&D policies typically have specific exclusions that are listed in the policy contract. Generally, death or dismemberment caused by suicide, acts of war, certain criminal activities, or participation in professional sports will not be covered. In addition, AD&D policies often include a waiting period before benefits are paid out – usually 30 or 90 days after the policy is issued.

When considering an AD&D policy, it’s essential to ensure you understand your policy’s coverage and exclusion limits. Reviewing the insurance cost with your insurer is essential, as premiums for AD&D policies can vary significantly depending on the provider. Lastly, review all documents carefully before signing anything to ensure you get the best coverage for your needs.

What Are The Top Five Causes Of Accidental Death?

The five most common deadly accidents are:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Falls
  • Drowning
  • Poisoning
  • Fires/Burns

What Is Considered A Dismemberment?

Dismemberment applies to permanent or partial loss, paralysis, and impairment of body parts or functions. Examples may include the complete or partial loss of speech, hearing, and eyesight and amputation of limbs.

What Does Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance Cover?

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance covers the death or dismemberment of an insured person due to a covered accident. Covered events typically include car crashes, drownings, electrocution, fire, airplane crash, and more.

Most policies pay the death benefit if the insured person dies directly from an accident. The dismemberment benefit pays out if the insured person loses two or more limbs, sight in both eyes, hearing in both ears or any combination of these losses.

Accidental death and dismemberment coverage includes other benefits such as funeral expenses and reimbursement for medical costs related to the accident. In some cases, the policy may provide an additional benefit to survivors in the event of a death due to an accident.

What Does Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance Not Cover?

Although AD&D insurance may provide coverage for death from an accident or murder, there are numerous cases of fatality or disability that it cannot cover due to exclusions such as:

  • Designated leisure activities
  • Drug or alcohol overdose
  • Accidents caused by drug and alcohol intoxication
  • Suicide
  • Natural causes or illness

Understanding Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

AD&D insurance, also known as accidental life insurance, has a schedule that lists the benefits and what they are covered for, including terms and restrictions.

Accidental Death Insurance

When you add an AD&D rider, also known as a “double indemnity” rider, to a life insurance policy, the named beneficiaries will get money from both policies in the event of accidental death. However, benefits are typically limited to a specific amount. Therefore, the quantity paid under these circumstances is restricted in most cases.

The beneficiary receives two times the amount of the face value of the life insurance policy in AD&D insurance payments. Therefore, when an individual is insured under a life insurance policy, they usually get twice the face value of that policy’s payout in case of death.

Accidental death coverage typically covers exposure to the weather, automobile accidents, homicide, falls, drowning, and industrial machinery incidents.

Dismemberment Insurance

Most AD&D policies pay a percentage for limb loss, partial or permanent paralysis, or the loss of use of specific body parts such as eyesight or hearing. Each insurance policy has rules regarding what is covered and how much is paid.

Voluntary AD&D Insurance

Voluntary accidental death and dismemberment (VAD&D) insurance is an optional plan that gives money to the beneficiary if the insured person is accidentally killed or suffers significant bodily damage.


Some insurance companies say that if the person with the insurance does something irresponsible like skydiving or playing sports, they do not have to pay benefits. However, if someone commits suicide, gets sick, or is injured because of a war, the insurance will not pay.

Accidental Death And Dismemberment Examples

Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance covers accidental death or dismemberment resulting from a covered accident. Here are some examples of what is considered accidental death for insurance purposes:

  • Car accidents
  • Falls
  • Accidental gunshot wounds
  • Sporting accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Fire-related accidents
  • Electrocution
  • Accidents while traveling on public transportation
  • Workplace accidents

AD&D Insurance Advantages and Disadvantages

Accidents are the third most frequent cause of death in the United States. An accidental death affects the surviving loved ones emotionally and financially as they must now deal with a lost income. The death benefit from an AD&D policy may provide peace of mind by reducing that burden.


Because of this, AD&D plans provide an additional death benefit and basic life insurance coverage for the insured. The amount is usually equivalent to or a multiple of the traditional policy’s death benefit. This extra advantage is called double indemnity since the benefit rises from one to two times when it includes this optional feature.


Because of its narrow limits, this policy provides very little protection. In addition, because it only pays if certain events occur, this coverage may be disadvantageous to consumers. If death occurs outside of these parameters, the AD&D insurance does not compensate. Instead, the premiums paid are refunded and go to the insurer.

If the insurance is group or employment-sponsored, it may not be transferred if the insured leaves the group or company. Coverage frequently ends when the insured’s membership with the sponsor ends, leaving them vulnerable until new coverage is obtained.

How Does Accidental Death Insurance Differ From Traditional Life Insurance?

Accidental death benefits are an added form of life insurance coverage, which is generally excluded from the traditional types of life insurance, such as term life insurance or permanent life insurance policies.

Accidental death policies typically offer a lower payout than regular life insurance plans; with the latter, you can protect your family’s financial security in all eventualities, whereas accidental death coverage pays out only when certain criteria have been met. Investing in this extra protection element will probenefitvide additional peace of mind and ensure you’re covered for any situation – even those caused by accidents.

For example, some policies may specify that car accidents, falls, and physical violence qualifies for a death benefit. However, deaths from illnesses or natural causes may not be covered. Additionally, many policies have age restrictions and require the policyholder’s death to occur within a certain time frame after purchase to qualify for a payout.

When considering an AD&D policy, it’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria and any age, time frame, or other restrictions that may be in place. Reviewing your life insurance policy and ensuring comprehensive coverage before purchasing an accidental death rider is also a good idea. Then, if something unexpected occurs, both policies would work together to ensure your loved ones are taken care of.

AD&D insurance is a great way to add financial security for unexpected events. By understanding the differences between it and traditional life insurance, you can ensure that you take the proper steps to be prepared should something happen.

Does Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance Cover Funeral Expenses?

Absolutely! AD&D Insurance can cover many potential costs, such as funeral expenses and loss of income for family members. It also offers financial aid if a family member becomes disabled. Plus, the policy will provide money to cover medical bills and other associated costs if an unfortunate accident results in death or dismemberment.

How Much Should Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance Cost?

Typically, AD&D insurance premiums range from $7 to $10 per month for every $100,000 of coverage. However, the amount you pay will depend on your age; like with other insurance policies – older applicants are charged higher premiums than younger ones. The premium rate may also depend on the type of job you have and any medical conditions you have.

Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance Benefits

Not only does the unforeseen death of a loved one have an emotional toll, but it can also bring financial hardship due to lost income. An AD&D policy’s death benefit will offer peace of mind by relieving this devastating loss and helping compensate for that missing source of funds.

AD&D policies offer the same life insurance death benefit amount as a traditional policy and provide additional financial support for loss of income. This extra coverage is known as ‘double indemnity’ and typically doubles the original death benefit amount. Therefore, AD&D policies can help families in need by providing increased protection against irrecoverable losses due to unexpected events.

The premiums for this type of coverage are surprisingly affordable because it only covers certain events resulting in an unexpected death or loss of a limb. When offered by an employer, employees may pay a cost as low as several dollars each month. Even when bought individually, rates remain significantly cheaper than term insurance with the same face amount.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance?

This limited coverage can be detrimental for policyholders as it only pays out upon certain events. For example, if death happens outside of the specified conditions, you won’t receive any compensation – and your premiums will remain with the insurer rather than being refunded.

Moreover, coverage is usually not portable if a group or employer provides it. Sometimes insurance ends when the insured leaves their sponsor and is unprotected until they acquire new coverage.

Additionally, possessing AD&D may lead policyholders to overestimate their life insurance totals when calculating long-term financial planning.

AD&D should not be the sole basis for assessing a customer’s life insurance portfolio, as it only pays out in specific circumstances. Traditional life insurance, however, can provide sufficient financial support to the insured’s beneficiaries. AD&D supplements this by granting an accidental death benefit if death occurs from an accident—ensuring that loved ones are still taken care of during these sudden and unexpected departures.

Pros And Cons

There are several pros and cons of accidental death and dismemberment insurance, which includes:


  • Affordable premiums compared to other insurance policies
  • Provides financial protection for accidental death or dismemberment
  • It can be a good option for individuals who do not qualify for or cannot afford traditional life insurance policies
  • Some policies may offer additional benefits, such as coverage for medical expenses or transportation costs
  • Easy to obtain coverage, often without a medical exam


  • Limited coverage only for accidental death or dismemberment resulting from a covered accident
  • Exclusions and limitations may apply, so it’s important to carefully review the policy before purchasing.
  • It does not cover death or disability resulting from natural causes or illness.
  • Benefit amounts may be limited, which may not provide adequate financial protection for some individuals.
  • Not as comprehensive as traditional life insurance policies

Is Accidental Death Insurance Worth It?

If you’re employed in a dangerous profession, such as a firefighter, procuring an AD&D policy is undoubtedly the right choice. Individuals with riskier occupations are expected to make larger premium payments than those whose jobs don’t pose any threats. Supplementary AD&D coverage could be incredibly beneficial; nevertheless, it’s essential to remember that this kind of insurance will not provide protection against death caused by anything except accidents.

Furthermore, AD&D policies may also provide coverage for expenses incurred due to a disability caused by accident. These policies can be adjusted to fit the needs of each individual, allowing them to choose their benefit levels and premiums.

For those who do not work in hazardous arenas but want protection against accidents or disabilities, supplementary insurance may still be wise. An extra policy of this kind could help in paying for medical expenses that may arise, such as doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and rehabilitation costs. Moreover, many AD&D policies will cover lost wages while an individual is out of work due to a disability, providing financial stability during recovery.

A voluntary accidental death insurance policy is an excellent addition to any individual’s insurance plan. A supplementary policy of this kind can provide a sense of security and peace of mind while protecting against potential financial loss in the event of an accident or disability.

Helpful Tip: Besides an accidental death life insurance policy, you’ll need a living will or trust. For an affordable estate plan service, we recommend the following:  

Accidental Death Life Insurance Policy

Next Steps

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance can offer security and peace of mind to those pursuing it. This kind of policy can make all the difference for those who want an extra layer of protection. When considering coverage options, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

However, in the event of a tragedy, accidental death, and dismemberment insurance may help protect families from financial drains when they need it most. In addition, with careful consideration, getting coverage may ease individuals’ minds regarding their family’s security in the future – regardless of what might happen.

The ability to protect our loved ones is something for which no price tag can be placed, and investing in AD&D insurance may be one way to achieve that protection. Contact us today for a free quote!

Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance (Ad&Amp;D)

Need Help Getting Life Insurance Coverage?

Contact us if you need help purchasing a life insurance policy. The service is free of charge.

Life Insurance Inquiry

*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!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AD&D Insurance?

Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is a policy that provides coverage for accidental death or injury. It’s cheaper than other policies and covers accidental death or dismemberment resulting from a covered accident. AD&D insurance is a good option for individuals who do not have life insurance or participate in high-risk activities. When choosing an AD&D insurance policy, it’s essential to consider the coverage amount, policy exclusions, and premium cost.

What is covered under accidental death and dismemberment insurance?

Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance covers accidental death or dismemberment resulting from a covered accident. Dismemberment can include the loss of a limb, sight, or hearing. It’s important to note that AD&D insurance does not cover deaths resulting from natural causes, illness, or suicide. Additionally, the policy will not provide coverage if the accident does not result in death or dismemberment.

Is it worth paying for accidental death and dismemberment insurance?

Whether or not paying for Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance depends on your circumstances. AD&D insurance can be a good option for individuals who do not have life insurance but still want to provide financial protection for their loved ones in the event of accidental death. It can also be a good option for individuals who participate in high-risk activities or have jobs that put them at higher risk for accidents. However, if you already have life insurance or are not at high risk for accidents, AD&D insurance may not be necessary.

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.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

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

Scroll to Top