Do Life Insurance Policies Pay More for Accidental Deaths?

All life insurance policies will pay their stated death benefits in the case of accidental death. However if you have elected to purchase (often for an additional fee), an Accidental Death Rider, the life insurance policy will pay more than the death benefit, sometimes double or triple the amount. This is sometimes referred to as “double indemnity” life insurance.

These riders are also sometimes sold as separate polices known as Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance, or AD& D. For the purpose of such life insurance riders or AD& D polices, an accidental death is defined as a death that is neither intentionally caused by a human being, such as a homicide or suicide, nor the result of natural causes such as cancer or heart disease. There are usually other limitations on accidental and dismemberment benefits, including but not limited to death during a surgical procedure, or from a bacterial infection, hernia, or a drug overdose. In addition, most AD& D policies or riders do not cover risky activities such as skydiving, car racing, or acts of war.

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