What is AD&D insurance?
An accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy (AD&D) is not the same as a standard life insurance policy. Yes, it pays a death benefit, but as the name suggests, it only provides coverage in the event you die due to an accident. If you are dismembered because of an accident, the policy generally pays out a predetermined amount as specified in your policy. What is life insurance?
Life insurance is an agreement between the policy issuer (the insurance company) and the policyholder (the insured) that states that upon the death of the insured, the policy issuer agrees to pay a pre-defined sum of money to named individuals upon the death of the insured.* There are many types of policies available, but the general purpose is to provide money to your loved ones in case of your death.
Life insurance vs. accidental death and dismemberment
An AD&D policy also differs from a standard life insurance policy because it's generally offered as a life insurance policy benefit rider or supplemental insurance. So while you can buy an AD&D policy by itself, it is more commonly added to another life insurance product.
As a policy rider, the AD&D benefit pays out an additional death benefit to your beneficiary that is over and above your current death benefit limit as stated on your life insurance policy. For example, if you have a $500,000 policy with a $200,000 AD&D rider and die in a tragic accident, your life insurance policy will pay out $700,000 to your beneficiaries. However, if you die due to any other cause, the payout would be the limit of your life insurance policy, $500,000.
Why choose an AD&D policy?
Although AD&D insurance is no replacement for standard life insurance, AD&D can provide valuable supplemental coverage at a relatively low price, especially if it's purchased through your employer.
An AD&D policy can offer financial security if you were, for example, to lose a limb, an eye, ear or in an accident whereas life insurance would not. While a regular life insurance policy can provide a death benefit to your designated loved ones in case of your death, an AD&D rider could offer additional benefit in case of your completely unexpected, accidental death.
For more information on life insurance and life insurance policy riders, visit Protective's Learning Center.
* Policies must be in-force at the time of the insured's death and certain misrepresentations discovered in the life insurance application may result in an insurer avoiding its obligations under the contract if discovered within a predetermined time frame set forth in the policy. Additionally, many policies contain a Suicide Exclusion Provision which will allow the insurer to avoid paying policy proceeds if the insured dies as the result of suicide within a specified period following the date of policy issue.
Note: Not all life insurance policies offer an AD&D insurance rider. The terms of AD&D riders and policies may differ by carrier.