←Back to Education Center Main

What is Voluntary Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) and How Can it Benefit Attorneys?

The insurance industry often asks “what would you do if…?” before delving into different types of coverage. That question often brings to mind certain common, cookie-cutter scenarios—what would you do if your spouse passed away? What would you do if you got into a car accident or your house caught on fire? It is common knowledge that life and disability insurance are important, just as most often auto and home insurance are required. However, some types of insurance cover seemingly farfetched scenarios you may have never thought could happen—but what would you do if they did?

Accidents happen, whether they are related to the type of job a person has, where they live, etc. They can happen at any moment to anyone unexpectedly and cause emotional, physical and/or financial stress. This is where insurance can step in to help. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) is coverage that pays a lump sum monetary benefit to the appropriate beneficiary should the insured’s death or dismemberment is caused by a covered accident. This type of coverage is often considered affordable and can complement existing insurance coverage.

While accidental death is self explanatory, dismemberment can include the following types of injuries:

  • Loss of hand;
  • Loss of foot;
  • Paralysis;
  • Loss of sight;
  • Loss of hearing;
  • Brain Damage; and,
  • Coma.

What would you do?: Accidental Death

In the organization’s most recent study, taken in 2016, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that “Unintentional Injury” ranked as the leading cause of death for Americans ages one year to forty-four years of age. It ranked within the top seven causes of death for all other age brackets and third overall.1 While it may be easy to ignore the risk of a fatal accident, especially while working in a non–physically intensive career field, research indicates that it is a very real possibility that needs to be considered.

Should the unexpected happen, with an AD&D policy in place, the Insured’s beneficiary will receive a lump sum totaling to 100% of the selected coverage amount (for covered unintentional or accidental deaths). This payment may supplement an existing Life Insurance payment to help relieve the financial hardship, including final expenses, a family may experience in suddenly losing a primary source of income.

What would you do?: Accidental Dismemberment

Accidental death is the worst case scenario but certainly not the only life altering outcome possible after an accident. When considering long-term financial needs, such as a mortgage or child/eldercare, even two-income families can face financial hardship if a wage earner has a covered injury. Accidental dismemberment includes a wide range of injuries resulting from a nonfatal accident, such as the loss of a limb. Depending on the severity of an accidental dismemberment, the Insured or their chosen beneficiary will receive a predetermined percentage of their full benefit amount. As an example, if the Insured permanently loses their hand at or above the wrist, but below the elbow, they may receive 50% of the full benefit amount. Therefore, when evaluating an AD&D policy, it is very important, to consider the list of potential injuries and the percentages of the total coverage amount that is tied to them.

It is easy to assume that such accidents will really only benefit those whose jobs or lifestyle incur physical risk as such an injury could threaten their ability to work. However, an AD&D policy can cover accidental injuries or dismemberments that could greatly impact even those with less physically intensive jobs, such as loss of sight in one or both eyes, loss of hearing or loss of speech. Brain damage, coma, and paralysis are just a few of the covered injuries that could greatly impact individuals in any profession at any age.

Where can you find coverage?

As a member of the American Bar Association, you have access to the ABA Insurance Program which, partnered with MetLife, offers members AD&D Insurance. Members can select full benefit amounts between $10,000 and $500,000. Acceptance is guaranteed and there is no medical exam or questions. Through your ABA Insurance Program, members can receive coverage that pays full benefits if they are totally disabled due to sickness or injury and are unable to perform the substantial and material duties of their own occupation while receiving regular care from a licensed physician. To learn more about AD&D Insurance or to get a quote for coverage, click here.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/LeadingCauses.html


←Back to Education Center Main

The ABA Insurance Education Center is provided by USI Affinity, the administrator of the American Bar Association Insurance Program.
Unless stated, the opinions shared by USI Affinity writers do not reflect the official position of the American Bar Association.