It is important to understand Accident Death & Dismemberment coverage in travel insurance. Most travel insurance plans provide coverage for AD&D (Accidental Death and Dismemberment), this is a limited form of life insurance. Some plans also provide an optional rider to increase the amount of AD&D coverage.
In the event that an insured person has an Accident during the period of coverage that results in death, the insurance company would pay a designated amount (called Principal Sum) to the beneficiary. Accidental death must be a sudden, unintentional and unexpected occurrence, the cause must solely be external and visible; meaning that the accidental death was the result of a physical injury and subsequently death. Death must occur within a certain number of days (30 days, 90 days, 6 months, etc., dependent upon the plan) of the sudden, unintentional and unexpected occurrence and must not be contributed to by an illness or disease.
Some policies may also provide coverage if the person is missing and is not found for one year or more; i.e., accidents such as sinking, forced landing, stranding, etc.
There are situations that an insurance company may not cover; the specifics of Accidental Death benefit vary by the product you purchase. In general, death must not be due to sickness, mental health issues, you committing a crime, terrorism, war, suicide or attempted suicide, self-inflicted injury and so on. There may be other exclusions such as, if you are driving a car you have a heart attack which causes a car accident and you die in that accident, or if an accidental death is due to illegal drugs or related to alcohol use, it would typically be excluded.
Principal Sum is typically much lower for dependent children compared to adults.
Accidental Dismemberment means loss of one or more limbs due to an accident. Dismemberment is a sudden, unintentional and unexpected occurrence, resulting in a loss that is solely external and visible; meaning that it resulted in complete severance from the body of one or more limb(s) or eye(s) and was not contributed to by an illness or a disease. "Limb" generally means an eye, a hand, or a foot. An insurance company typically pays 100% of the benefit amount (Principal Sum) if two limbs are severed. If one limb is severed, it typically pays 50% of the Principal Sum.
The loss of a hand or foot means the complete severance at or above the wrist or ankle joint. The loss of sight means the entire and irrecoverable loss of sight.
Additionally, some policies may have coverage for dismemberment of a thumb and index finger of the same hand for one-quarter of the principal sum.
AD&D beneficiary means the person that will receive the benefit (Principal Sum) in case of Accidental Death. If you are buying insurance for your parents, you should generally write your name. If you are buying insurance for your in-laws, you should generally write your spouse's name.
Some travel insurance plans do not provide any place to designate an AD&D beneficiary. In that case, the benefit will be paid in this order: Spouse (if any), Children (if any) equally, Your estate. This order or who the benefits are paid to may vary based on the specific policy. If you do not wish for the benefits to be paid in such manner, you should have a will that states who is to receive specific funds.
Standalone AD&D Insurance
Instead of possibly having a smaller coverage limit when AD&D is bundled in with your travel insurance plan, it is also possible to choose a standalone Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance policy. It is available on individual or group basis and you can choose either accidental death only or include dismemberment. Such standalone AD&D insurance can provide very high limits of coverage, but not to exceed 10 times your annual income.