ACCIDENTAL DEATH LIFE INSURANCE LAWYER REPRESENTING CLIENTS AND THEIR RIGHTS TO RECEIVE ACCIDENTAL DEATH BENEFITS
A life insurance policy is a way for many people to get some peace of mind knowing that their loved ones will have a financial safety net in the event they pass away. An accidental death rider can provide an added layer of protection to surviving loved ones should their family member pass away unexpectedly under certain circumstances.
Our life insurance lawyers walk you through how accidental death insurance works and provide valuable insights for those individuals struggling to get their accidental death claims approved.
HOW DOES ACCIDENTAL DEATH INSURANCE WORK?
Accidental death insurance is an optional rider (or “add-on”) to a standard life insurance policy. The policyholder will usually pay extra for this type of coverage, which is also referred to as accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D). In exchange for higher premiums, the AD&D insurance increases the final payout the insured’s beneficiaries will receive, as the AD&D payment is usually made in addition to the standard life insurance claim payment.
Besides adding accidental death coverage to your own life insurance policy, it is possible to obtain it through your employer if the company offers AD&D coverage for workplace accidents as part of your employee benefits. Some employers cover its cost, while others may offer it at the employee’s cost. In addition, you may be able to pay for AD&D coverage for a determined period of time while you are traveling.
WHAT KIND OF ACCIDENTS ARE COVERED BY ACCIDENTAL DEATH INSURANCE?
An AD&D rider is designed to cover deaths resulting from accidents. Examples of common accidents covered by accidental death insurance include:
- Auto accidents
- Machinery-related accidents
- Lightning strike
Some insurance companies may also include coverage for permanent impairments caused by an accident, such as dismemberment, total or partial loss of hearing, vision, or speech, and partial paralysis. Payment of benefits is made based on a schedule that assigns different percentages to the insured’s injury so as to determine what it may be worth. Accidental death coverage levels are variable, and the insured can select the appropriate level for themselves based on many aspects, such as the dangers they may be exposed to as a part of their profession. Some workers may handle hazardous substances or heavy machinery, and others may travel regularly or commute long distances. These workers may consider purchasing accidental death coverage for an added layer of protection should an accident occur while they are carrying out their daily job activities.
ARE THERE EXCLUSIONS TO ACCIDENTAL DEATH INSURANCE POLICIES?
Certain circumstances are excluded from accidental death coverage. Many AD&D policies do not cover dangerous voluntary activities or hobbies the policyholder may engage in, such as extreme mountain climbing, bungee jumping, race car driving, or motocross, for example.
Even if an accident were to occur while the insured is engaged in one of these activities, the death would likely not be covered by accidental death insurance. The same applies to deaths resulting from acts of war or terrorism. In addition, deaths due to illness, alcohol poisoning, or drug overdoses are usually excluded. Likewise, if the policyholder died while performing an illegal act (such as a criminal action), the death may not be covered by AD&D.
An insurance company typically classifies a death as accidental when it happens due to factors other than illness, natural causes, or as a result of any of the exclusions explained above. Besides, if the insured survives the accident but after a while ends up passing away from the injuries he or she sustained, many insurers impose a maximum period of time following the accident for the death to be counted as accidental.
Many insurance companies set accidental death benefits to expire when the policyholder turns 70 years old, but this may vary and is usually written in the policy. It may be worth reading your policy to see if accidental deaths are covered after age 70 or what can be done to amend these terms.
TALK WITH AN EXPERIENCED LIFE INSURANCE LAWYER
We fight for the rights of beneficiaries to receive the accidental life insurance benefits they are due. Your loved one paid for this extra coverage–you deserve those benefits. Call or contact us to discuss your case. We will investigate and get you paid those accidental death benefits if at all possible.