Accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy is a type of insurance policy that offers coverage for the unintended death or dismemberment of an insured individual. 

Dismemberment consists of the loss and/or the inability to use body parts such as loss of limb, hand, eyes, speech, etc. 

AD&D is usually added as a rider to a basic health insurance policy. It is not a substitute for life insurance as its terms of coverage are limited. It is advised to check with a professional insurance broker before purchasing this rider.

What do accidental death and dismemberment insurance cover?

The protection accidental death and dismemberment insurance offer are

  • Accidental death: the accidental death of the insured is covered by this rider. The beneficiary receives benefits from both the basic health insurance and the AD&D insurance rider but it does not exceed a certain amount. Mostly The beneficiary receives twice the value of the policy. Basically accidental deaths include drowning, exposure to harmful elements, homicide, traffic accidents, falls, and accidental death involving heavy equipment.
  • Dismemberment: dismemberment is also covered by the AD&D insurance rider. Dismemberment includes loss of limb, paralysis of major body parts, or loss of use of major body parts like eyes to see, ears for hearing, or mouth for speech. The extent of dismemberment covered differs from insurer to insurer. Most insurance providers do not pay 100% policy costs for dismemberment.
  • Voluntary accidental death and dismemberment: voluntary AD&D insurance offers protection for those who work in risky environments. Cash is given to the beneficiaries at the demise or dismemberment of body parts of the insured. It is just a branch of life insurance and thus is less expensive than life insurance itself.

premiums paid are dependent on the amount of insurance bought. Most policies are renewed on a regular basis with new terms and conditions for each renewal. Some employers also offer this type of insurance as a benefit to their workers

Most insurers exclude certain kinds of death in AD&D like an overdose of toxic substances, suicide, natural death, death during war, death as a result of illness, death from intake of unprescribed drugs, etc. Even death from chronic illnesses such as heart attack and cancer are not covered. Mostly, if the death of the insured is caused by a criminal act, no benefit is paid.

Advantages of accidental death and dismemberment insurance

Accidents are one of the leading causes of death. The effect of this loss weighs heavily on the loved ones of the deceased, having accidental death and dismemberment insurance helps to ease the financial burden on them.

If the deceased have basic life insurance, AD&D doubles the Benefits of their beneficiaries, as they receive lump sums from both insurance (also known as double indemnity.

Premiums are less expensive than basic life insurance and if the policy is paid for by the employers of the insured, their beneficiaries are assured a lump sum at no extra cost.

Disadvantages of accidental death and dismemberment insurance

Even with the advantages stated above, AD&D also have some shortcoming they are; only offers coverage for certain causes of death. If the cause of death is not within the coverage, the beneficiary gets nothing and the insurer gets the premium.

If AD&D is funded by a group or employer, upon termination from the organization the policy is also terminated.

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance is not sufficient as full life insurance as its coverage is limited.


Accidental death and dismemberment insurance is a type of insurance rider that pays benefits in case of death, loss of body parts, or loss of use of body parts. It covers certain death events and should not be substituted for traditional life insurance. If the cause of death is natural no benefit is paid and premiums would be lost. Before buying an AD&D read the terms and Coverage provided thoroughly. Also, compare insurance providers’ quotes to be sure of which is best for you.