• Income Insurance

Accidental Death Insurance: What It Is and Why You Need It

3 min

When it comes to buying insurance, you probably think you have all the basics covered. Life insurance? Health insurance? Dental insurance? Check, check, and check!

But you may be overlooking a critical component — accidental death insurance. This article will explain more about how this insurance works and why you need it to supplement your other policies.

What is accidental death insurance?

According to the CDC, accidents are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer. And they’re the number one cause of death for adults ages 25 to 44. That’s why it’s a good idea to purchase Accidental death (AD) insurance.

AD insurance provides your family coverage if you die in an accident. The term “accident” is pretty broad, but it usually covers unforeseen accidents like car accidents, homicide, or workplace injuries. If you’re killed in an accident, your loved ones will receive a payout.

AD insurance is similar to life insurance in that it provides death coverage, but the policy doesn’t cover illnesses or other natural causes. For that reason, most people use AD insurance to supplement their current life insurance policy.

What does accidental death insurance cover?

It's right there in the name. AD insurance covers accidental death and every policy comes with its own terms and criteria. Accidental Death insurance is similar to life insurance since your loved ones will receive a payout if you die. But unlike life insurance, the insurance company will only issue a payout if you die in an accident.

However, it’s essential to understand what types of accidents are covered. If you die in an accident that your insurer views as high-risk, your death may not qualify for a payout.

What isn’t covered?

AD insurance covers a lot, but there are exceptions. Coverage won’t apply if you die in the following scenarios:


  • Drinking and driving

  • Drug overdose

  • Natural causes

  • Illnesses

  • Death during surgery

  • High-risk activities like skydiving

  • Acts of war

Pros and cons of accidental death insurance



  • Inexpensive: Because AD insurance only covers accidents, it usually costs less than other types of insurance. The premiums tend to be reasonably affordable — for instance, Accidental Death insurance through Asteya starts as low as $6 per month.

  • Easy to understand: The policy and benefits are usually pretty straightforward and easy to understand.

  • Flexible coverage: You have the option to buy AD insurance as a standalone policy or add it to a current policy. You can also cancel AD insurance at any time.

  • Acceptance guaranteed: Acceptance is usually guaranteed for AD insurance, which means there are no medical exams required. And there’s no waiting period before the coverage takes full effect.


  • Doesn’t cover illnesses: If you die from a disease, it will not be covered by AD insurance. That’s why it’s crucial to have life insurance as well. 

  • Some deaths won’t qualify as accidental: You will have to prove to your insurance company that the death was accidental, and some deaths won’t be eligible. For instance, your death will not be covered if you die while engaging in risky behavior.

Accidental death insurance vs. life insurance

The main difference between these two types of insurance is that life insurance provides broader coverage. AD insurance only covers death from an accident, and it won’t cover natural causes of death or illness.

In comparison, life insurance would likely cover the following causes of death:

  • Accident

  • Illness

  • Natural causes

  • Drug overdose

  • Homicide

  • Suicide


Coverage periods for life insurance tend to last much longer than AD insurance. Many people purchase term insurance policies that last for 10, 20, or 30 years. Or you can buy a permanent life insurance policy that lasts for the rest of your life.

How to purchase accidental death insurance

You may be able to sign up for AD insurance through your employer. Some employers offer this insurance as part of their benefits package and even give you the option to add your spouse and children to the policy. But if this isn’t an option, you can also purchase a standalone policy through an insurance company.

Is accidental death insurance worth it?

It’s definitely worth purchasing AD insurance, especially if you’re under the age of 44. Adults between the ages of 25 and 44 are more likely to die in an unintentional accident than anything else.

It’s also a good idea to consider AD insurance if you have a spouse or dependents who count on your income. AD insurance works best when it’s used to supplement other types of insurance, like life insurance and disability insurance.

If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for an instant quote from Asteya today. From there, you can fill out the full application and determine how much coverage you need.


Does accidental death insurance cover car accidents?

AD insurance covers deaths from accidents, so yes, a car accident would be covered. However, the car accident must be considered an unintentional accident, so it won’t be covered if it’s the result of drunk driving.

And AD insurance doesn’t cover natural causes of death. So, if you have a heart attack that causes a car accident, that won’t be covered either.

How often does accidental death insurance payout?

You or your loved ones should receive a one-time payout for death. Most insurance companies issue a payout within a year of the accident.

What are examples of accidental deaths?

Accidental death is defined as a death that occurs as a result of an unintentional accident. Here are some examples of accidental deaths:

  • Car accidents

  • Choking

  • Workplace accidents

  • Homicide

  • Drowning

  • Slips and falls

Death from illness, hazardous hobbies, or acts of war are not considered accidents, and coverage would not apply.

Does accidental death insurance cover motorcycle accidents?

Yes, most AD policies will cover death from a motorcycle accident. However, you should check with your insurance company to make sure this is the case. And you want to ask about any fine print — for instance, does coverage depend on you wearing a helmet or getting routine maintenance on your motorcycle?

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