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What Does Accidental Death Insurance Cover & Is It Right for You?

Life Insurance
young child covers her father’s eyes at home as he thinks about buying accidental death insurance

What would your family do if something unexpected happened to you? Would they be able to cope on their own financially? Accidental death insurance could help alleviate some of the financial struggles that could come after the loss of a loved one. But what does accidental death insurance cover?

Spend time thinking about the many wonderful things the future could bring — like new adventures and quality time with loved ones — not worrying about the uncertainties of tomorrow. Understanding what accidental death insurance covers (and does not cover) could help you decide if this policy type is the right choice for you.

What Does Accidental Death Insurance Cover?

Accidental death insurance is designed to pay a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you died in an accident. This policy type could cover a number of things, including unintentional death by falling, drowning, suffocation, choking, fire or an automobile accident, as well as other scenarios that would be detailed within the policy. Accidental death insurance can be purchased as a stand-alone policy, or as an add-on to an existing life insurance policy.

The death benefit could help alleviate financial worry for your loved ones when they need it most. If you were to die in a car accident on your way to work, for example, an accidental death insurance policy could help your loved ones pay for your burial and funeral costs — or any other expenses.

However, this policy type won't pay out if you died due to disease or other natural causes. It's important to keep in mind that accidental death insurance is not available in every state. Insurance companies may also adjust their rates, coverage levels and exclusions by state — and some companies have age limits for their accidental death insurance policies.

Accidental death insurance policies often come with exclusions. Each insurance company is different, but some common exclusions include death due to drunk driving, drug overdose, high-risk activities like skydiving or drag racing, an accident during surgery, self-inflicted injuries, as well as other situations which would be listed within the policy terms.

Is Accidental Death Insurance Right for You?

An accidental death policy could make sense for a number of reasons. For example, Michael is young and in good health. He already owns a term life policy but would like to purchase additional protection because he often travels for work and has a small — and growing — family. The likelihood that Michael will die from a terminal illness might be slim because of his health and youth. His chances of being in an accident, however, could be higher because of his frequent travel.

Accidental death insurance rates vary, but these policies often have low rates and no waiting period for coverage — which could help make adding this policy type to your existing insurance coverage more manageable. Combining accidental death insurance with a new or existing life insurance policy — like term life, whole life or universal life — could help provide broader protection.

While no one can predict the future, planning for the unknown could help provide you and your loved ones with a sense of security today. Chances are, tomorrow will be filled with many more milestones and joyous moments, so don't spend time worrying about the unexpected — consider preparing for the unexpected.


Information provided is general and educational in nature. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal or tax advice. Western & Southern Financial Group and its member companies (“the Company”) does not provide 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. The Company makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use. The Company disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or reliance on, the information. Consult an attorney or tax advisor regarding your specific legal or tax situation.