I bet you didn’t know that there are many variations of Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage (also known as AD&D). You might ask; isn’t Accidental Death just accidental death? And you would be right to think so but the variations in coverage deal with the hazard that causes the death. So you can have AD&D coverage that covers broad hazards which would include a fall down the stairs or a “man overboard” on a cruise or a more limited hazard that would include only coverage while on a scheduled flight of a commercial airline.
Accidental death and dismemberment coverage requires that death or dismemberment (the loss of parts of your body) be the direct cause of an accident that causes bodily injuries. It does not include coverage for death or dismemberment that are caused by sickness or disease such as a heart attack or stroke. Coverage can be broaden or narrowed by the type of accident that causes bodily injury. Here are some of the generic types of AD&D coverage found in travel insurance policies:
Accidental Death and Dismemberment: the broadest type of AD&D coverage. Usually covers 24/7 for the duration of the covered trip for all types of accidents except for those that might be specifically excluded.
Public Conveyance AD&D: the next broadest type of AD&D coverage that requires the accident that causes death to occur while you are a passenger on a public conveyance.
A public conveyance is generally considered to be any conveyance that is available to the public. This could include an elevator or taxi.
Common Carrier AD&D: a narrower version of AD&D coverage that requires that the accident that causes death occur while you are a passenger on a Common Carrier. A common carrier includes most air, land, or water conveyances that accept passengers for a fee.
Flight Accident AD&D: also know as Flight Insurance. This is one of the most restrictive forms of AD&D coverage because it only provides coverage while you are riding as a passenger on a commercial airlines. Usually this type of coverage requires that you are on the scheduled or charter flight of a scheduled airline. In addition coverage usually extends to boarding or alighting from a covered flight and while you are on the airport premise.
Many people confuse AD&D coverage with Life insurance and think that coverage will apply if you die as the result of a non-accident like a heart attack. That is wrong. AD&D coverage can not be confused with it’s much more inclusive relative, Life Insurance. Generally speaking, life insurance will cover you for other than an accidental death. It is a much broader form of insurance that is usually sold on an annual basis and requires a long application that is personally reviewed by trained underwriters at the insurance company. Don’t confuse AD&D with Life insurance; they are not the same thing.
Updated June 12, 2014