Compare Car Insurance Quotes

In 3 Minutes, Save 32% on Average. Compare Quotes from 50+ Providers for Free!

Laundry accident

When one goes to buy life insurance they are often get surprised. They discover that they have some choices to make. Many don’t realize there are different types of this category of insurance. They assume the only difference is in the amount of coverage that the policy they choose will offer.  Also, they also get confused about what reasons must exist for the payout of the policy. They start hearing about accidental death and dismemberment coverage.

Is Life Insurance and Accidental Death the Same?


The simple answer is no. But that doesn’t mean that when one goes to buy these types of insurance that it is all that simple. When one starts taking a look at like insurance they get faced with different jargon. That includes terms like whole life, universal life, or term life. Now they are also looking at trying to understand how AD&D fits in. Which is the short form of accidental death and dismemberment.

What is the Difference between Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment?

Life Insurance

Life insurance varies by the company that offers it. Also, by the category of insurance. Some policies may pay out for accidental death. Others may only pay out for the natural death.

There may be a few exceptions where a life insurance policy would not get paid out. One is if the insured committed suicide where certain conditions applied. The other is if the insurance company could come up with some reason to why the insurance policy was not valid.

For example, one type of term life insurance policy offered by one company may say they will not pay out the policy if;

  • The claim is not made within a specific number of days following the death of the life insured.
  • The insured died as a result of suicide. If the death occurred within two years of the buying the term life policy. Or within two years of the date of renewing it.

In this example, it does not say that it will not honor the policy because of accidental death.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance only gets paid out under specific circumstances. The policy will get paid out if the insured dies as a result of an accident. But, it also includes coverage if a catastrophic injury takes place. Where some form of the dismemberment of a body part takes place as a result of an accident.

Accidental Death Insurance

There are some companies that only offer accidental death insurance. It does not include the dismemberment part of the insurance. Most often this is the type of insurance that gets used as an add-on to one of the different types of life insurance.

What Does an Accidental Death Policy Cover?

Again the amount and type of coverage is going to depend on the insurance company providing it. Also, the type of coverage outlined in a specific policy. For example, one insurance company offers…

  • A lump sum payments based on specific criteria. They will pay out the policy amount if a fatal accident occurred.
  • Or they will pay out for a loss of limb. Also, if loss of sight, hearing or speech occurred because of the accident.

What this policy will not pay out on is if the occurrence was as a result of death or dismemberment. Occurring because the insured was involved in high-risk activities. They give an example like skydiving. Nor will they pay out if the cause was from a drug overdose or some type of illness including surgery.

Life Insurance with Accidental Death Coverage

Accidental Death

If an individual is buying life insurance they need to understand what they are being covered for. It may be that all causes of the death may not get covered. For example, the policy may only cover a natural death. The individual buying the life insurance has some difficult decisions to make. Do they forecast that their death will be a natural death? If so then this specific type of coverage may give them the peace of mind they want. Or, do they believe they could also die in an accident? If so, what type of accident could it be? If they fear that it may be a car accident then is there coverage for death in their vehicle insurance? Or, does the insurance shopper feel they could meet their death through another type of accident? Is so what are the choices for life insurance?

There are a couple of choices. One can look for a life insurance policy that includes accidental death. Or they can see if their insurance company offer life insurance for accidental death. As an add-on to the current policy. A third option is to buy accidental death insurance separately.

Double Indemnity and Life Insurance

Sometimes when accident insurance gets added on to a life insurance policy its double indemnity. When this is the coverage that is being provided it means a higher payout. It may mean that the insurance company will pay out double the value of the insurance value. To the beneficiaries.

Is Accidental Life Insurance Worth It?


This is a question that comes with a lot of controversy. It depends on many different factors. It is also a question that automatically raises many other questions such as:

  • At my age do I need accident insurance?
  • What risks am I at for an accident?
  • What is the cost going to be for this type of coverage?
  • How much will it put my premiums up if I use it as an add on to my life insurance?
  • How much coverage is it going to give me?
  • Does my current life insurance include coverage for accidental death?

These are just some of the common questions asked when it comes to considering accidental insurance. They really create the need for a lot of forecasting. About what could happen in the future to an individual to cause their death?

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.