Do You Need Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)?

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance, also known as AD&D, is one of the lesser-known and misunderstood insurance coverage types available with travel medical insurance.

What Is Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance?

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance pays you or your assigned beneficiaries an amount of money if you die or suffer the loss of any limb as the result of an accident while the coverage is in effect. Essentially, it provides a benefit in the case of accidental death or dismemberment.

What Does Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Cover?

The following are a few details that further explain what is covered under accidental death and dismemberment with your visitors insurance plan:

  • The event that causes the claim must be solely the result of an accident, and not contributed to by an illness or disease.
  • The accident must occur while the insurance coverage is in effect.
  • Proof of the accident will be required with the claim.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Examples

The following are examples of incidents covered by AD&D insurance:

  • A bus crash results in the permanent loss of your eyesight.
  • An errant driver smashes into you and you lose a leg in the accident.
  • A plane crash results in your death.

How the Dismemberment Benefit Works

The dismemberment portion of an AD&D benefit works on a 'per-member' benefit, which means you will receive a portion of the total benefits based on your loss. A 'member' refers to a body part. Your eyes are a member, as are your legs, arms, feet, hands, etc.

If you lose a foot in a car accident, for example, you will receive the benefit for the loss of a single foot. If you lose both legs, i.e., two members, then you would be entitled to receive the entire benefit from your insurance provider.

The Limitations of AD&D Coverage

Every visitor insurance plan may identify specific limits to the AD&D coverage, including:

  • Maximum benefits paid to any one family.
  • Exclusions include accidents due to hazardous sports, riding off-road vehicles, playing collegiate and professional sports, racing, and more.
  • Accidents that result from intoxication or the use of illegal drugs.

The specifics of what is excluded in any particular visitors insurance plan can be found in the exclusions section - and it's important that you read your insurance policy carefully to understand the particulars of what is excluded if you want to avoid the pain and frustration of denied claims.

Do I Need AD&D Insurance?

Serious injury or death is the last thing we want to think about on vacation but even though it may be a very low possibility, it can still happen. Common questions about AD&D and visitors insurance also include what happens if a loved one is seriously injured or involved in a natural disaster and needs to be evacuated. We cover this in medical evacuation in case of emergency.

Many visitor insurance plans include at least some accidental death and dismemberment insurance as part of the bundled coverage, so you may have a little coverage even if you don't specifically want it. This added benefit is typically embedded in most insurance plans and doesn't typically add a significant cost to your overall premium.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment vs. Life Insurance

Life insurance policies pay out a death benefit to beneficiaries when the insured dies, except in certain exclusions noted in the policy. This type of policy is commonly known as "all cause" death benefit coverage. Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is also a life insurance policy, but it only pays out in the event of an accidental death or injury as defined in the policy. The key difference between these two types of insurance policies lies in the circumstances that trigger the policy's benefit.

Compared to standard life insurance rates, AD&D insurance is often more affordable. Just like life insurance, AD&D insurance premiums depend on the information provided in the application and the chosen death benefit amount. However, the cost of AD&D insurance tends to increase as the insured ages.

While it's highly unlikely that you will lose an arm or leg, or your sight, it also depends on the activities you engage in when you're traveling. In the case of a freak accident - one that no one could have ever predicted - the coverage could prove beneficial and help you defray the costs associated with losing part of your body.

Final Thoughts

While it's definitely unpleasant to consider the possibility of a serious injury while on vacation, it's always better to be prepared than not. AD&D coverage is a valuable added benefit to visitors insurance plans and can help give you peace of mind knowing that your family will be compensated in the unlikely event of accidental death or dismemberment.

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