Will Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) coverage provide coverage for death caused by heart attacks?
When we dream about the future, we often think about the best-case scenarios and what could come our way, but making sure that we are prepared to weather potential storms means also considering the unfortunate circumstances possible. This is where coverage like AD&D and life insurance policies come into play.
No one wants to leave behind unprepared loved ones in the event of an unexpected death or accident. While we often hope to never need life insurance policies or AD&D, knowing that the coverage exists can provide peace of mind and let us enjoy our time more fully knowing that we’ve done all we can to plan for the unexpected.
One thing that’s important to understand when making these decisions is exactly which scenarios are covered and which ones are not. If we truly want to make informed and careful decisions, we need to have a full picture.
What is AD&D?
AD&D is the abbreviated term for Accidental Death and Dismemberment. This term refers to a type of insurance that pays out if the insured dies or is severely injured from an accident. Death, obviously, refers to accidents where the insured loses their life. Dismemberment refers to an accident that causes the loss of a limb or appendage. It can also cover the loss of sight or hearing as a result of an accident.
Typically, AD&D policies provide partial payouts — a percentage of the total — in the event of dismemberment. These percentages are calculated based on the severity of the loss, and multiple losses — for example, the loss of an arm and a leg — may result in stacking percentages that could equal up to 100% of the total.
This insurance is designed to provide coverage for the beneficiaries in the event of death or for the insured and beneficiaries in the event of dismemberment. The policy provides security by helping to cover lost wages, pay medical expenses, and cover funeral costs.
How is AD&D different from life insurance?
Life insurance is the general term for insurance that pays out when a person dies. There are different kinds of life insurance policies (including term and whole life), but they share the common goal of providing funds to the beneficiaries of the insured policyholder upon death. Life insurance typically pays out regardless of the cause of death with a few exceptions. For example, some policies exclude deaths caused by risky behavior (such as skydiving) or suicide that occurs within a certain period of time (typically two years) after the policy begins.
Life insurance covers deaths that happen due to accidents as well as deaths that happen due to natural causes or medical conditions. On the other hand, AD&D is much more restrictive in the types of deaths covered by the policy. It only includes accidents.
Rather than thinking of AD&D and life insurance as two separate entities, it is more accurate to think of them as stacking benefits. Typically, AD&D is added to an existing life insurance policy. What this means is that, in the event of an accidental death, the beneficiaries will receive both the life insurance and the AD&D payouts — though there is often a cap to the total amount that can be received.
Does AD&D cover heart attacks?
The most important thing to understand when considering which kind of insurance to acquire is what coverage looks like. AD&D is an important safety net that helps protect against one of the most common forms of death in the United States. As the CDC reports, accidents are the third-leading cause of death nationwide and responsible for nearly 40 million annual visits to medical facilities. Unintentional injury is the number one cause of death for ages 1-44.
Having protection against accidents is an important part of being prepared for uncertainty.
Accidents, however, are narrowly defined by the AD&D coverage, and it will not cover medical ailments such as heart attack, stroke, or cancer. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for those 65 and older and the second-most common cause of death for those ages 45-64. Coverage for these medical conditions comes in the form of the main life insurance policy. It’s important, then, to make sure that the general life insurance policy offers coverage that is sufficient to provide for the needs of beneficiaries in the event of death from medical conditions such as heart attack.
When you’re facing an unexpected tragedy — no matter its cause — sorting through the details of insurance policies can be cumbersome and overwhelming.
If you have been denied benefits either for life insurance or AD&D insurance, hiring an attorney with experience in AD&D insurance claims is important. We can help. Contact us today for a free case consultation.