There should be no cause for confusion about life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. In general, accidental death and dismemberment insurance can be taken as policy addendum or rider to a life insurance policy. However, an individual could also opt to purchase these separately.
A life insurance policy is designed to provide financial protection to policyholders’ beneficiaries, who could fall vulnerable in the event of an unexpected death of the insured.
Accident death and dismemberment insurance could not just give financial protection upon accidental death of the insured; it could also provide claims to policyholders who survive an accident but incur serious damages to their body or functions.
Accident death and dismemberment insurance can cover a person for possible loss of limb or even life as well as for incurring severe injuries. If it is taken as a rider for a life insurance, claims could be doubled—from coverage of both insurance products. However, a policy owner should also expect higher premiums.
Accidental Death Cases in the U.S.
Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that the top cause of accidental deaths in the United States is motor vehicle accidents, especially for people under the age group of 25 years old and below.
Such cases often involve texting or talking through hands-free devices while driving.
Consumption of alcohol is another common cause of erratic and risky driving behavior among young people.
Accidental death or possible dismemberment from a potential vehicular accident is a common risk all people face when going on the road, whether as a driver or as a passenger. This could be unrelated to age, residential address, or type of job.
Additionally, accidental death and dismemberment result from preventable accidents like automobile mishaps, falling from a height, or even unintentional poisoning.
According to studies, people under the age of 25 could be more likely to perish in vehicular accidents. On the other hand, older people aged 65 years old and above could face higher risks of figuring it falls within their homes or offices. Such incidences could also be possibly deadly.
Meanwhile, CDC also reported an increase in accidental poisoning incidences due to the intake of prescription drugs involving people aged between 25 and 65.
Do you know why insurers ask for a complete blood count test? Find it here.
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance
As mentioned, accidental death and dismemberment insurance covers a policyholder who figures in incidences that result in loss of life or limb, and even severe injuries.
This specific type of insurance would pay the insured’s beneficiaries with a fixed amount of benefits after death, especially if the policyholder died in an accident.
This insurance type is also sought-after because of its feature to provide specific amounts of benefits that could be claimed in case an insured dies or becomes dismembered arising from a serious accident.
Payments are made to the insured in case the later experiences loss of speech, sight, hearing, or limb from major life-threatening occurrences.
If death occurs due to an accident, the entire amount of face value coverage can be provided to beneficiaries. If the accident causes dismemberment, the benefit to be claimed could be just 50% if one member is lost or 100% of both members (like in limbs or arms) are lost.
Only 25% to 50% of the policy amount could be provided for complete or partial paralysis. Accident death and dismemberment insurance could also cover an insured’s hospital costs following an accident.
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance could also be considered as supplemental to a life insurance policy.
Unlike life insurance, this policy can provide a percentage of payout if the insured incurs injuries from a serious accident that lead to loss of sight, speech, hearing, or loss of fingers or limbs.
The payout from an accidental death and dismemberment insurance could also be used to cover funeral expenses or pay off medical bills of the policy owner. Likewise, it could cover the costs of financial and emotional recovery following the death of a loved one.
Why invest in this policy?
A typical life insurance generally covers the greatest possible chances of death of the insured. But some people could have higher risks for accidents because of the nature of their jobs or lifestyle.
Those risks could possibly lead to death or injury. This is why investing in an accidental death and dismemberment insurance is also advisable.
There are life insurance policies that come with limits when covering accidents; this is where accidental death and dismemberment insurance would be most advantageous to an individual.
If you are concerned about the costs of premiums, accidental life insurance products are usually not as expensive as life insurance in terms of premiums. This is because payouts made to such insurances are relatively rare.
Data from The Heart Foundation indicate that most Americans are likely to perish from heart diseases (1 out of 7) than from vehicular accidents (1 out of 112). Moreover, just around 131,000 of every 2.5 million deaths in the United States could be cited for accidents, based on information from CDC.
Who should consider it?
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance policies are recommended to people who are at higher risks of incurring accidents due to employment and lifestyle. These people may be from the other ends of the age groups.
Younger people aged 25 and below should have a policy because they are more likely to figure in vehicular mishaps and other lifestyle-related accidents, whereas people aged 70 years and above are more likely to incur accidents like falling at home.
These two bands of the population are more likely to possibly gain the most benefits from investing in this special type of insurance. People from other age groups who have high-risk hobbies should also invest in the policy to provide them a financial buffer in case they meet an accident.
It is also better to understand that this type of insurance does not cover accidents or injuries from specific activities like skydiving, drunk driving, car racing, bungee jumping, or drug (including nicotine) overdose. It will also not provide payouts if an insured incurs death or hospitalization due to war or suicide.