What Is the Accidental Death Benefit in Travel Health Insurance?

Brianna Weidman

An Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefit in travel health insurance is exactly what its name suggests: a benefit that provides coverage in case of your accidental death or dismemberment while traveling abroad. But what situations qualify for coverage? What scenarios are excluded?

Read on to discover exactly what an AD&D benefit covers and why you need one.


What Is AD&D in Travel Health Insurance?

The Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefit in travel health insurance pays money to you or your beneficiary if you die, lose your sight, or lose a limb due to an accident while traveling abroad. There are stipulations, of course. We’ll get into those details below.


What Does AD&D Cover?

AD&D insurance covers situations where an accident causes your immediate death or dismemberment, or where an accident causes a covered injury that later results in your death or dismemberment. Examples of situations where your AD&D benefit could cover you include a car accident, boating accident, or injury from a fall.


Most AD&D Benefits Pay:

  • The full amount outlined in your policy documents to your beneficiary if a covered accident or injury causes your death
  • A portion of the full amount (often half) to you if you are dismembered in a covered accident that causes you to lose one limb or sight in one eye
  • The full amount to you if you are dismembered in a covered accident that causes you to lose two or more limbs or sight in both eyes


Your Beneficiary Will Only Be Eligible to Receive Your Accidental Death Benefit If the Following Is True:

  • You die within a certain number of days of the initial accident that causes your deadly injuries (typically 30 days)
  • Illness or disease do not contribute to your death
  • The accident that causes your death doesn’t happen while you’re a paying passenger on a commercial airline or cruise line (Common Carrier Accident is typically a separate benefit – more on that later)
  • The accident that causes your death is not the result of a situation or condition specifically listed in your policy exclusions

Many travel health insurance policies include an Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) benefit. You can find the benefit and its coverage limits on the policy documents for any policy you’re considering. You may also find it on the main webpage for the policy.


What Are the Policy Documents?

The policy documents provide the full benefits and exclusions of an insurance plan and explains its claims process. You can typically find a link to these documents on the main webpage for the policy or on the quote form where you provide your trip information and learn how much your policy would cost.

(Note that you will receive these documents along with your other fulfillment documents after you purchase a policy as well.)

See a sample Description of Coverage for our Atlas Travel insurance policy.


Important Definitions You Should Know 

  • Accidental Death: This generally refers to a situation where external means cause a sudden, unintentional, and unexpected occurrence that results in your death.

    Remember: Death must occur within a certain number of days following your injury. (For Atlas Travel, this period is 30 days.) Illness or disease may not contribute to your death. 

  • Accidental Dismemberment: This typically means a situation where external means cause a sudden, unintentional, and unexpected occurrence that results in either:
    • Complete severance of one or more of your limbs OR
    • Complete and irreversible loss of sight in one or both of your eyes

  • Loss of Limb: This refers to either:
    • Complete severance of your arm from your body at or above your wrist OR
    • Complete severance of your leg from your body at or above your ankle

  • Loss of Eye: This refers to complete and permanent loss of sight.


PRO TIP: Consult the DOC for any policy you’re considering to see its specific and complete benefits.


What Is Excluded from Travel Health Insurance AD&D?

To Recap: You will only be eligible for the AD&D benefit if your death or dismemberment (or the injury that causes your death or dismemberment) results directly from external and visible means.

You are not eligible if illness or disease contribute to your death or dismemberment.


Let’s Clarify This with An Example:

Say you suffer an epileptic seizure while driving a rental car abroad. The seizure causes you to crash the car, resulting in severe internal and external injuries. Ten days later, you succumb to your injuries in the hospital.

In this scenario, you would not be covered by your accidental death and dismemberment insurance, despite dying as a result of your car crash injuries. Why? Because your epilepsy caused you to crash. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder, and health disorders count as an illness.

An illness is any sickness, disorder, pathology, abnormality, ailment, disease, or any other medical, physical, or health condition.


Examples of Situations Where Your AD&D Benefit Would NOT Cover You

There are certain *situations and conditions that could result in your accidental death or dismemberment which would not be covered under your AD&D benefit. Examples of such situations include:

  • Infection (except through a wound caused by an accident)
  • Intoxication (as defined by local laws where the accident occurred)
  • Mental health disorder
  • Participation in a riot
  • Pregnancy
  • Suicide or self-inflicted injury
  • Terrorism
  • Voluntary drug use (except for drugs prescribed by a physician)
  • War


*Benefits and exclusions vary from policy to policy, so read all of your policy documents. Review the AD&D section thoroughly and make sure you understand all of the policy’s exclusions.

PRO TIP! If you have questions about the policy considering, contact the insurance company directly. They can help you understand the policy's exclusions and verify its benefits. 


Do I Need Accidental Death and Dismemberment Coverage?

We know it’s uncomfortable to think about what would happen if you were to become seriously injured or even pass away during a trip abroad. But it’s important that you take a second to consider the potential consequences of traveling abroad while uninsured.

Who would pay for the resulting expenses in the case of your accidental death? Would you be able to afford the medical expenses resulting from your dismemberment or loss of sight?

We believe that all travelers should expect the best but prepare for the worst. That’s why our Atlas Travel insurance policy includes up to $25,000 for a covered death or loss of 2 limbs and up to $12,500 for the covered loss of one limb (for ages 18 through 69).

Atlas Travel offers AD&D coverage to individuals under age 18 and those over age 69 as well. You can see those benefit limits here.

Learn more about Atlas Travel insurance here.


Does the AD&D Benefit in Travel Health Insurance Cover Bringing a Dead Body Home?

The Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit included in most travel health insurance policies does not cover the cost of returning your body or ashes to your home country for proper burial or cremation. Instead, you’ll want a policy that also includes a separate benefit called Repatriation of Remains.

The Repatriation of Remains benefit pays to transport your body by plane or ground transportation to your home country if your insurance covers the injury or illness that caused your death. This benefit also covers the cost of preparing your body for transport.

Repatriation can cost several thousand dollars, and your family may already have to prepare and pay for funeral arrangements in their time of grief. Your travel health insurance company can coordinate travel arrangements for your covered repatriation, as well as pay all eligible expenses, so your family has the chance to properly grieve and say goodbye.

Here’s a true customer story of Atlas Travel’s Repatriation of Remains benefit in action:


Real-Life Example: Repatriation of Remains After a Tragic Accident in Thailand

Thailand -> United Kingdom = $5,323

A 21-year-old British citizen teaching in Thailand was struck by traffic and died later that day. WorldTrips worked with his parents, the local hospital, and government officials to arrange for the care, preparation, and return of his remains to his home country.

The traveler’s Atlas Travel policy paid $5,323 to cover the cost of bringing his body home to his family so they could have a proper burial for their loved one.

Review the policy documents for any plan you’re considering to see if it includes AD&D coverage and a Repatriation of Remains benefit before you purchase. 


Does Travel Health Insurance Include Flight Accident AD&D?

Many travel health insurance policies, like Atlas Travel, include accidental death flight insurance, or flight accident AD&D, in the form of a benefit called Common Carrier Accidental Death.


What Does Common Carrier Accidental Death Mean?

Similar to the AD&D benefit, Common Carrier Accidental Death covers international travelers who experience an unintentional and unexpected accident or injury that causes their death. Death must occur within a certain number of days following the accident or injury and previous injuries or illnesses may not contribute to it.

Unlike AD&D, Common Carrier Accidental Death covers passengers who are aboard a commercial airline or cruise line.


PRO TIP: When comparing travel health insurance policies, look to see if the policies you’re considering offer both AD&D coverage and Common Carrier Accidental Death coverage.


Get Coverage for You and Your Loved Ones After a Covered Worse-Case Scenario

It’s hard to think about how you or your family members would cope if you were to face an unexpected worst-case scenario while traveling abroad. Travel health insurance can’t protect you against accidents, but it can help protect you and your loved ones against some of the expenses that could result from your covered, accidental death or dismemberment during your trip.

That’s why our Atlas Travel health insurance plan includes important benefits like:

  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment – Up to $25,000 to your beneficiary in case of your accidental death or dismemberment (ages 18 – 69)

  • Repatriation of Remains or Local Burial/Cremation – Up to your policy’s overall maximum limit for the cost of returning your body to your home country OR up to $5,000 toward the cost of burying or cremating your body in the country of your death (ages 18 – 69)

  • Common Carrier Accidental Death – Up to $50,000 to your beneficiary if you die as the result of an accident while onboard a commercial airline or cruise line (ages 18 – 69)

Travel health insurance can be easy to purchase and budget-friendly.Atlas Travel policies start at just $0.50 per day for travel outside the U.S. or $0.93 per day for travel including the U.S.

Your plan cost will vary depending on:

  • the level of coverage you choose
  • the deductible you choose
  • your age
  • your destination
  • your trip length

In addition to choosing your overall coverage limit and deductible, you can select from several add-ons during the checkout process to further customize your policy to your needs and budget.


PRO TIP: Start an Atlas Travel quote to see what the price would be for your trip.


Atlas Travel’s Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefit

Atlas Travel pays eligible AD&D expenses according to your age group. For each age group, the benefit limit specifies:

  • the amount it will pay out for a covered death or loss of two eyes or limbs
  • the amount it will pay out for the covered loss of one eye or limb

The benefit also includes a lifetime maximum amount. This is the maximum amount Atlas Travel will pay toward your covered accidental death or dismemberment expenses during your lifetime.


Accidental Death & Dismemberment

Excludes expenses resulting from Common Carrier Accident

Age Group Benefit Limit
 14 Days — 17 Years Old
  • Death - $5,000
  • Loss of 2 Limbs - $5,000
  • Loss of 1 Limb

Lifetime Maximum: $5,000

 18 — 69 Years Old
  • Death - $25,000
  • Loss of 2 Limbs - $25,000
  • Loss of 1 Limb - $12,500

Lifetime Maximum: $25,000

 70 — 74 Years Old
  • Death - $12,500
  • Loss of 2 Limbs - $12,500
  • Loss of 1 Limb - $6,250

Lifetime Maximum - $12,5000

 75 Years Old or Older
  • Death - $6,250
  • Loss of 2 Limbs - $6,250
  • Loss of 1 Limb - $3,125

Lifetime Maximum - $6,250

$250,000 maximum benefit for any one family or group.

This benefit is not subject to the policy’s deductible or overall maximum limit.

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WorldTrips international travel medical insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd's. WorldTrips is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. WorldTrips has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency, Ltd.