Life Insurance
Insurance 101
Live Chat
Sign In
Apply Now
Life Insurance

5 Reasons Accidental Death Insurance Might Be Right for You

By Jessica Sillers Jul 19, 2022

In this article

What Is Accidental Death Insurance?

What Is Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance?

5 Reasons People Get AD or AD&D Coverage

When Term Life Insurance Might Make More Sense

“Accidents happen” is my mantra when I’m wiping a spill or helping my kids try, try again. Fortunately, math mistakes and overturned oatmeal are easy fixes. More serious accidents need a bigger plan. 

Accidental death insurance and accidental death and dismemberment policies both provide coverage for some unforeseen worst-case scenarios.

What Is Accidental Death Insurance?

A traditional term life insurance policy covers death due to almost any cause (although most policies have a two-year contestability period and suicide provision). Accidental death insurance covers death specifically due to accidents as laid out in the policy. It has a more limited scope and won’t cover deaths from natural causes or illness. 

Accidental death policies may cover you if you pass away due to circumstances such as:

  • Car accident

  • Fire

  • Falls

  • Choking

  • Drowning

  • Firearm-related accident

  • Machinery accident

Exposure to the elements

What Is Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance?

Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is also meant to cover specific accidental circumstances. The important difference is that AD&D offers benefits if you sustain certain serious injuries even if you don’t ultimately pass away. 

Details vary by policy, but generally you can expect to be eligible to claim a portion of the policy amount if you lose a limb, lose function (e.g., sight, hearing) in at least one body part, or have partial or permanent paralysis due to an accident. Some policies will pay 50-100 percent of the benefit based on the severity of injury, such as loss of hearing in one ear versus a combination of injuries.

A policy may also specify time limits for how soon after an accident you need to pass away or sustain an injury to make a claim. That is, if you hurt your back in a car accident and end up needing a wheelchair years down the line, the insurer may not recognize that injury as accident-related paralysis.

5 Reasons People Get AD or AD&D Coverage

There are a few reasons why these policies can be attractive: 

  1. Accidental death policies may be cheaper than traditional term life insurance policies because they cover a narrower set of situations. Premiums vary, but you can get accidental death coverage for less than $10 a month

  2. Accidental death policies offer an advantage are a form of guaranteed issue insurance. In other words, approval is based on age only (insurers may cap the eligible age to apply at 70 or 80 years old). You don’t need to take a medical exam, so this insurance may be an option for people who don’t qualify for traditional term policies due to health issues.

  3. AD&D has the advantage of paying a benefit for qualifying injuries as well as for death. Loss of a limb or injuries to your sight or hearing could leave you unable to continue your usual job. This coverage could help out financially while you figure out your next steps.

  4. It may be convenient to add an AD&D policy as a rider to an existing term policy.

  5. One major benefit of an AD&D rider is that you could get “double indemnity,” meaning your beneficiary could receive two times the face value of your policy if you pass away due to a covered accident. 

When Term Life Insurance Might Make More Sense

Getting covered in case of an unforeseen accident is a smart way to look out for your loved ones. But just because insurance is available, and even affordable, doesn’t always mean it’s the best way to spend your money.

The biggest disadvantage of accidental death policies is how limited their coverage is. Accidental death and AD&D policies generally won’t cover accidents due to high-risk hobbies or careers, wartime injuries (which can include death due to a terrorist attack), or accidents that happen while you’re under the effects of non-prescription drugs or alcohol. 

Essentially, if you are knowingly taking a risk, whether that’s javelin-throwing or drinking and driving, then a resulting accident isn’t out of your control in the way a piano falling from the sky would be. And if it’s within your control, the insurer likely won’t cover it.

A term life policy should also cover any circumstances an accidental death policy would, in addition to much more common causes of death. If you’re worried about a debilitating injury, you might decide that a broader disability policy covers you more fully for injury than AD&D. 

Unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death as of 2020, so it can be wise to have coverage in case of an accident. Of course, the leading causes of death in the United States are more likely to be diseases such as heart disease or COVID-19 than an accident. An accidental death policy can be helpful, but it might turn out that accidents don’t happen often enough to assume that a serious one will happen to you.

If you can get an inexpensive accidental death or AD&D policy, an additional benefit can help your loved ones financially in a difficult time. These policies can also be a good way to get some coverage if your health makes term life insurance a no-go. But in many cases, a traditional term policy can cover a much wider range of circumstances, while still being an affordable option.

Fabric exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.

Fabric by Gerber Life exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.

Information provided is general and educational in nature and is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, financial, legal, or tax advice. Laws of a specific state or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy, or completeness of this information. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. We make no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use, and disclaim any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, the information.

Fabric by Gerber Life offers a mobile experience for people on-the-go who want an easy and fast way to purchase life insurance.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Written by

Jessica Sillers

Related Posts

Life Insurance

What Inflation Means for Life Insurance

Life insurance can help protect your family’s financial future, but inflation affects you now. Learn how inflation affects life insurance and how to get coverage on a tight budget.

By Jessica Sillers
Life Insurance

How Inflation Affects Your College Savings

Inflation can affect college savings and expenses, but you can take steps to protect 529 funds and keep college as affordable as possible.

By Jessica Sillers
Life Insurance

What Inflation Means for Emergency Funds

Inflation reduces the purchasing power of your dollar, including money saved in emergency funds. Here’s how inflation and interest rates affect your savings.

By Jessica Sillers

Fabric Picks

Life Insurance

Fabric is now Fabric by Gerber Life!

We’re excited to announce that Fabric is now Fabric by Gerber Life, and has joined the family of trusted brands under Western & Southern Financial Group (parent company of Gerber Life Agency), offering policies issued by Western-Southern Life Assurance Company.

By Fabric
Life Insurance

What Happens to College Savings in a Recession

A recession can have a different impact on your college savings depending on your plan and timeline. The good news: you may have options to stay on track.

By Jessica Sillers
Life Insurance

How to Protect Your Emergency Savings in a Recession

Here’s how a recession impacts the economy and how you can keep your family’s finances as steady as possible in tough economic times.

By Jessica Sillers
Fabric by Gerber Life Logo

About Fabric




Download Fabric’s iOS mobile app through the Apple App Store
Download Fabric’s android mobile app through the Google Play app store
Subscribe to our newsletter

© 2022 Gerber Life Agency, LLC

Term Life Insurance Policy Series ICC22 2205-4004 WSA and Accelerated Death Benefit Rider policy series ICC22 2205-2623 WSA (and state variations where applicable) issued by Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Cincinnati, OH which operates in DC and all states except NY, and distributed by Gerber Life Agency, LLC using Fabric Technologies. Gerber Life Agency, LLC is an affiliate of Gerber Life Insurance Company (est. 1967). All are members of Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern). Issuance of coverage for Term Life Insurance is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Product provisions, availability, definitions and benefits may vary by state. Payment of benefits under the life insurance policy is the obligation of, and is guaranteed by, the issuing company. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer. Products are backed by the full financial strength of the issuing company.

All sample pricing is based on a 30-year old F in Excellent health for the coverage amount shown and a 10-year term policy, unless otherwise stated. Gerber Life Agency, LLC (GLA) is an insurance agency licensed to sell life insurance products. GLA will receive compensation from Western-Southern Life Assurance Company for such sales. The NAIC Company Code for Western-Southern Life Assurance Company is 92622.

Western-Southern Life Assurance Company's A+ Superior A.M. Best Rating: Superior ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations (second highest of 13 ratings; rating held since June 2009). Ratings are subject to change from time to time. The ratings shown here are correct as of 09/03/2022. For more information about a particular rating or rating agency, please visit the website of the relevant agency.

Plan like a parent. is a trademark of Fabric Technologies, Inc.

Gerber Life is a registered trademark. Used under license from Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. and Gerber Products Company.

In the State of California, Gerber Life Agency, LLC is known as and does business as Gerber Life Insurance Agency, LLC.