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Should I purchase an accidental death and dismemberment policy?

Ali Katz


Q: I’m looking to buy insurance to protect my family. Should I purchase an accidental death and dismemberment policy?

-Looking for coverage

A: Dear Looking:

When it comes to protecting your family, you might think the more insurance you have the better. But accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is rarely worth the investment.

AD&D only covers you in very specific circumstances—if you die from an accident or you lose a limb, eyesight, speech, or hearing in an accident. But these policies frequently don’t cover all types of accidental death.

Most policies don’t pay out if you die while participating in high-risk activities like rock climbing or skydiving. And deaths caused by drug overdose, drunken driving by the insured, and surgery complications usually aren’t covered either. Plus, if you’re dismembered in an accident, AD&D generally only pays half the benefit.

Comparatively, a life insurance policy pays your beneficiaries regardless of whether your death was from natural causes or an accident.

The only times when AD&D might be worthwhile is if you work in a dangerous industry like mining or commercial fishing. It may also be helpful if you can’t afford life insurance.

You’re probably better off purchasing premium term-life insurance to protect your family in the event of your death and/or long-term disability coverage to provide financial security if you’re maimed.

A Personal Family Lawyer® can help you select the best insurance coverage to protect your family no matter what happens.