One of the first life insurance claims I had, the lady died in an accident. She had the accidental death benefit rider on her policy which doubled the face amount of her life insurance. At the time I wrote her policy, I wasn’t big on adding accidental death benefit but she wanted to add it so I did.
I remember when the second lady bought her life insurance, we briefly discussed whether or not she should add the ADB rider to her life insurance. It was pretty cheap, so cheap she should have added it. She kind of hesitated when she said she didn’t want to add it. I didn’t say anything and moved on.
From that point on, my opinion changed some about whether or not you should add the accidental death benefit rider. Because of that, I at least make sure I do a good job of explaining the ADB rider and offer the option to everyone who buys a policy.
What is the accidental death benefit rider?
The accidental death benefit rider is one of several riders you can add to your life insurance for an extra premium. If you add it and die in an accident, it will double the face amount. In the past, it was called double indemnity - since it doubles the face amount. However, these days, it’s usually just called ADB - accidental death benefit.
The difference between ADB and AD&D
Accidental death benefit rider exclusions
For accidental deaths that would be covered under the rider, you can read the article I wrote where I give a list of examples of what the insurance company would consider accidental death.
When should buy the accidental death benefit rider?
- Is it cheap to add? If it doesn't cost very much to add, then I'd add it.
- Can you afford it? If you can afford it, I'd consider it.
- Are you at a greater risk of being in accident? If you ride motorcycles, travel a lot or are involved in other hazardous activities that aren't excluded in the policy, then I'd really consider it. In some cases, ADB riders actually pay an additional benefit if you die in a common carrier accident.
- Are you otherwise uninsurable? If you pick up some life insurance through work and max out what you can get without any medical questions, an ADB rider might allow you to bump up your life insurance in the event of an accident. This would be life insurance you might not have gotten any other way. Remember though, if you do die by natural causes, then of course the ADB will not pay a benefit.
Any accidental death benefit payment is just extra to help your beneficiaries.