What is accidental death insurance?

In its most basic sense, accidental death insurance pays a named beneficiary with a pre-determined lump sum if an accident or injury causes immediate death while you’re traveling.

It’s certainly not pleasant to think about, but accidents and catastrophes can happen anywhere — including when you’re traveling abroad, or even domestically. Should the unimaginable worst case scenario happen, accidental death insurance is something you should consider as an integral part of any comprehensive travel insurance policy. It’s hard to talk about, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked in trip planning.

Your financial beneficiary can be a spouse, child, other family member, or even an employer. In terms of benefits, it’s similar to a typical life insurance policy — and often can be claimed in addition to an existing life insurance policy. But, accidental death insurance specifically includes coverage for incidents that happen abroad while on a trip or vacation.

Sometimes, it’s also called a death benefit or AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment). The death benefit is payable in the unlikely scenario where the insured person dies while traveling, under a covered reason. It also covers the disappearance of the insured, in the event a body is not recovered.

The latter part, dismemberment, is a policy type that also covers incidents such as loss of sight or, loss of limb. These are all situations which would prevent you from earning an income after an accident and threaten your family’s financial future.

The amount of the benefit amount that a named beneficiary would receive in the event of a policy holder’s accidental death is typically included in the description of coverage, a document which outlines the full range of benefits and exclusions of any given insurance policy. While it’s sobering to think about purchasing accidental and death and dismemberment insurance, the risk and consequences of not buying one are far worse.

You want to travel with confidence, knowing that should something happen to you, your loved ones would not face a financial struggle in your absence, and would be paid out by the benefits of the policy. Plus, it’s not too dissimilar from purchasing life insurance coverage outside of the context of travel.

Exclusions Apply

As with any type of insurance coverage, there are certain exclusions which apply to this kind of policy and specific exclusions may vary by insurance company. It’s important to make yourself aware of these exclusions ahead of time and be familiar with what constitutes a covered accident.

The use of substances, including drugs and alcohol, as well as willing participation in dangerous or high-risk scenarios, or suicide, usually also exclude you from being covered. Lastly, the date of death often must occur within a certain number of days of the initial accident. This will vary by policy and specific exclusions, but can go up to 365 days,

Even if you think you are a low-risk, safe traveler, it’s important not to overlook the fact that accidents and unforeseen medical emergencies are always a possibility when you’re away from home, domestically or abroad. Road, air, and sea accidents, or being killed as a result of a natural disaster are all possible, though thankfully not likely. That does not mean you should pretend they’ll never happen. Getting adequate protection for the unexpected and ensuring financial security for those that you love is key.

While the hope is that in the event of an emergency, you’d be able to access life-saving medical treatment in another country, you have to be aware of the fact that just leaving your country of residence implies a certain amount of risk.

Accidental death insurance just gives you that extra peace of mind knowing your family would be taken care of if you get killed, no matter what occurs. It’s simply worth having, and once you get a few quotes and purchase a policy at the right cost, you can relax and resume looking forward to your trip.

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