The Accidental Death and Dismemberment Rider Can Enhance Your Life Insurance Policy

By Tes Kurtz on January 20th, 2010

Whole life insurance can provide the peace of mind you need by providing financial protection for your loved ones should you pass away. A whole life policy provides insurance coverage for your lifetime, as long as you maintain your policy by making premium payments on time.

Whole life insurance also has a saving benefit called cash value. The savings benefit has a variety of advantages, including the ability to borrow against cash value (note that any outstanding loans are subtracted from the insurance benefit at the time of the policyholders death).

In addition to your basic life insurance coverage, you can enhance your policy with one of many riders, including the accidental death and dismemberment rider (AD&D).

What Is a Rider?

A rider is a clause that amends the terms or coverage of your life insurance policy. There are many different types of riders available, which can be added for an additional fee.

The AD&D rider, sometimes called double indemnity, provides additional benefits should the policyholder be involved in an accident. In the event that the insured passes away because of an accident, the insurance company may provide beneficiaries an additional benefit, sometimes in an amount equal to the face value of coverage, potentially doubling the policy value.

Some life insurance companies offer triple indemnity. If this option is available, beneficiaries may receive three times the face amount of the whole life insurance policy if the policyholder were killed in an accident.

If the insured were to survive an accident, but lost limbs or vision, some or all of the benefit would be payable the policyholder. Each insurance company provides different benefits, or a proportion of benefits, depending upon the bodily loss suffered. Consult the terms and conditions of the AD&D rider you are considering for specific details.

What Accidents Qualify?

Many insurance companies define the type of accidents that qualifies for the AD&D rider. Typically, accidents are unexpected happenings, such as car accidents, plane crashes, train derailments, machinery malfunctions, etc. The key point being that an accident is not related to a body malfunction, such as a heart attack, asthma attack, or stroke. To find out what events are considered accidents, review the policy and rider or consult your insurer.

Non-qualifying Events

Perhaps it might be better to explain what does not constitute an accident. Accidents that involve any illegal or crime-related activity are typically not covered. Suicide is not considered an accident either. Also, if an accident is the result of a body malfunction, the AD&D rider is usually not applicable.

To learn more about the AD&D rider, and to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies just enter your zip code.

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