Does Term Life Insurance Cover Accidental Death?

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Term Life vs. Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Coverage

Accidental death is also covered under a different policy type, called accidental death & dismemberment. This policy pays out when you are killed or gravely injured by an accident. You can buy these either as stand-alone policies or as a rider on your life policy. The injury types covered include paralysis, blindness, or losing a limb.

With a stand-alone policy, it doesn’t usually matter how the accident occurred, as long as the end result is serious enough to qualify you for a payout. It could be a car accident, a fall from a ladder, or a workplace accident. As with term life, certain types of accidents will be disqualified if they were caused by unsafe or illegal activities ranging from drug use to suicide attempts. Every insurer will have its own list of disqualifying activities.

With an AD&D rider on your term life policy, the insurance company will pay out additional funds if you die due to a covered accident. Usually, they’ll double the amount of your death benefit. If you survive the injury, the insurer will still pay you, but not the full amount of your death benefit.

Some insurers will include this rider on your policy for free, while others will charge extra if you want it. Is it worth adding this on if it costs extra? That’s up to you. Some riders have very specific language regarding the types of covered accidents, or limit the length of time between the accident and death in order for your beneficiaries to receive the extra payout. Read the fine print and talk to your insurance agent to make sure you understand what you’re buying.

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There’s a reason it’s hard to answer the question, “Does term life insurance cover accidental death?” That’s because, with life insurance, the answer is usually, “It depends.” We’re here to give you the right answer based on your specific situation. Call us at (800) 521-7873 or email us at and let us help. Or click the button below to get started with a free quote!

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