Jeffrey Manola is an experienced life insurance agent and the founder of Top Quote Life Insurance. His mission when he created Top Quote Life Insurance was to provide online consumers searching for life insurance with the absolute best quotes for term life insurance, permanent life insurance, no medical exam life insurance, and burial insurance. Not only does he strive to provide you with the ...

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Written by Jeffrey Manola
Founder & Licensed Agent Jeffrey Manola

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Feb 16, 2022

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Facts You Should Know

  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is preferable for people who work in dangerous conditions and travel a lot
  • Your life insurance company may offer AD&D insurance separately or as a rider
  • Add other helpful riders to strengthen your chosen AD&D or regular life insurance policy

What is an accidental death life insurance policy, and how will you know if you need one?

Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is one of the 11 best types of life insurance. People in certain occupations might want to purchase this type of policy if they cannot otherwise purchase a regular life insurance policy.

You can buy an accidental death or accidental death and dismemberment policy from many companies that offer life insurance. Alternatively, some companies offer accidental death and dismemberment coverage as life insurance riders.

If you are wondering if you need an accidental death life insurance policy, we have some information that may help you. We will offer a dismemberment definition and list companies that offer AD&D insurance. To see rates from top life insurance companies in your area, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above.

What is accidental death and dismemberment insurance?

What is AD&D insurance going to do for you if you have it? As the name suggests, an accidental death policy is one that covers you in case you die or lose a limb (dismemberment) due to an accident while on the job or from other covered incidents.

Covered accidents for an AD&D insurance policy might include the following:

  • A work-related accident that leads to your death. An accidental death policy or rider might even take effect if you do not die immediately.
  • Deadly or debilitating accidents on common carriers. A common carrier is a commercial mode of transportation, like a boat, plane, or bus.
  • Auto pedestrian accidents. Some life insurance companies might offer this type of coverage as a rider or include it as an AD&D provision. With this provision, you have coverage if a vehicle hits you as a pedestrian. You also have protection as a passenger or driver of a vehicle.

Check with your life insurance company to see if you can add such a provision and if the company includes extra disability riders.

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Why might you need an accidental death life insurance policy?

One factor is your occupation, and another might be your traveling habits.

People in high-risk occupations like construction should consider getting an accidental death life insurance policy to protect their beneficiaries. Most life insurance companies will decline to insure people in high-risk professions, so an accidental death policy is a good alternative.

If you don’t work in a dangerous profession but travel frequently, you might think about getting an accidental death policy.

Alternatively, you can add an AD&D rider to your life insurance policy. Beneficiaries will get a standard death benefit, but an Accidental Death Rider will trigger an increased payment to your beneficiaries if you die in a covered accident.

Other Riders You Might Need to Add to Your Life Insurance Policy

If you have a regular life insurance policy, you might want to add the following riders and features to increase financial protection for your beneficiaries.

Annuity Rider

According to Investor.gov, an annuity is an agreement (contract) that you make with an insurance company to meet your retirement and long-term goals.

Under this type of contract, you will make a lump-sum payment or series of payments. In return, your life insurance company will give you periodic stipends starting at an agreed-upon date.

You can choose from three types of annuities:

  • Fixed annuity. Your insurance company pays you based on a specific interest rate during the accumulation period.
  • Indexed annuity. Your insurance company will give you credit. Your return is based on changes to an index, like the S&P 500.
  • Variable annuity. You will have different investment options, mostly mutual funds. Your rate of return and the payments you receive depend on what you purchased. Variable annuities are securities, so the Securities and Exchange Commission regulates them.

With an Annuity Rider on your policy, your beneficiaries can receive a payment based on your annuity’s value if you die during the accumulation phase.

Disability Income Rider

If a catastrophic accident leaves you disabled, your regular life insurance or AD&D insurance company might offer a Disability Income Rider. This provision gives you monthly payments to supplement your lost income.

Estate Protection

If you want to establish a trust, an Estate Protection Rider protects you from additional estate taxes.

Guaranteed Insurability Benefit

A Guaranteed Insurability Rider allows you to increase your current death benefit without undergoing additional medical exams or another underwriting process. You will pay higher rates as a result, but your rates are based on your original application.

If your life insurance company offers this rider, you might need to reach an age requirement. These riders are generally part of a term life insurance policy, so you likely need to be under 50 years old to use it.

Long-Term Care

A Long-Term Care Rider allows you to use part of your death benefit if you need funds to pay medical expenses. This rider is helpful if you have a disability or are chronically ill. This rider is often cheaper than a standalone long-term care policy.

Waiver of Payments

With this rider, you can waive your monthly life insurance payments if you become disabled. The rider may last for the life of your policy or expire if you reach a certain age. Check to see if your company only waives payments for accident-caused disabilities or adds the coverage. This is separate from the Disability Income Rider.

Companies That Offer Accidental Death Insurance

The following companies offer accidental death insurance:

Companies That Offer Accidental Death & Dismemberment Coverage (1)

CompanyName of Policy or RiderIssue/Benefit Age LimitCovered AccidentsTotal Death Benefit
AflacAccidental-Death Benefit RiderNot specifiedCar accident with seatbelt usageVaries
AssurityAccidental Death Insurance<70Not specifiedVaries
MetLifeBasic Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Supplemental Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Dependent Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Voluntary Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Business Travel AccidentNot specifiedWorkplace accidents, intake of some drugs (2)Not specified
Mutual of OmahaAccidental Death Insurance18-70 (can renew up to age 80)Work-related accidents, accidents while a passenger on a common carrier, Auto Pedestrian coverageUp to $1 million (up to $300,000 for Auto Pedestrian benefit)
NationwideAccidental Death Benefit RiderNot specifiedNot specifiedVaries
Sun Life FinancialAccidental Death and DismembermentNot specifiedNot specifiedNot specified
Transamerica CorporationAccidental Death Benefit RiderNot specifiedNot specifiedNot specified
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(1) When choosing an AD&D insurance company, find out which terms and protections are available in your state. For example, many AD&D policies are no medical exam life insurance policies.

(2) MetLife specifies that it may pay out death benefits if you die after properly taking doctor-prescribed or over-the-counter drugs. MetLife may cover other events, but it was not specific on its website.

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Accidental Death Life Insurance: The Bottom Line

You should consider buying an accidental death or AD&D policy if you work in a dangerous profession or travel frequently. You may also want the added protection in case you suffer a catastrophic injury in a covered accident.

If you buy AD&D insurance, always look closely at the terms of your policy, and add riders that can increase your policy’s value. Also, since an AD&D policy you want to purchase likely has an age limit, weigh that against your life expectancy before purchasing.

We hope that this information about accidental death life insurance was helpful. And if you would like to see rates from different life insurance companies in your area, you can enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool below.