Sometimes there are subjects or topics we’d rather not think too much about; they’re too unpleasant or distasteful to think upon for very long. Losing a limb or suffering some other form of accident that causes a disabling, or deadly, condition is probably one of those shared by many of us. It is also natural to not want to deal with any possible solution or occurrence of that type of scenario so usually we don’t. It may be a mistake to do so, to not think about those possibilities, and we honestly hope we never need the insurance we pay premiums on, but that’s why there is accidental death and dismemberment insurance: to cover the situations our life insurance may not.
There are accidental death benefit riders available on many life insurance policies, but usually without the dismemberment element. This is typically the case with the group insurance benefits available with an employer. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage is available as a separate policy or even part of the travel insurance coverage you receive as a benefit when you purchase train, airline or bus tickets with credit.
Accidental death and dismemberment coverage covers unusual and/or accidental incidents that typically don’t fall under other major policy riders or addenda. This is because, well, they’re accidental in nature or unlikely to occur in normal everyday life. In fact you have a greater chance of dying from an illness than you have o dying in an accident. For this reasoning the premium you pay for this type of coverage are usually pretty inexpensive and it’s rare for an insurance provider to have to pay for any claim in this type of policy.
Unpleasant as it is, the policies only pay a benefit if you die from accident or suffer a dismemberment from an accident. Anything considered natural causes won’t be covered, such as suffering a stroke while driving and turning into oncoming traffic. There are many situations and factors which make the insurance company determine what happened wasn’t an accident. Death must fall within 90 days of an accident for the life insurance benefit and a loss must be considered permanent for the dismemberment benefit. Wars, flying (not as a commercial passenger), mental or physical illnesses, and death or dismemberment caused from engaging in criminal acts are all disqualified from benefits.
The main drawback to accidental death and dismemberment insurance is that it is very limited. It isn’t recommended you use it as your main source of insurance protection against death or disability. Purchasing group life, individual life and disability insurance offers a much larger range of coverage (and fewer exclusions) than a death and dismemberment policy. If the option for a death and dismemberment policy is available for free in part of an employer benefits package or because you’ve purchased travel tickets with your credit card then certainly take advantage of it. For the most part, unless you work in a high-risk area or you can’t get qualified for life and disability insurance coverage through other means, buying accidental death and dismemberment coverage may not be right for you.