Accidental Death Insurance

Accidental death insurance is cheap. It’s cheap because most people don’t accidentally die while on vacation.

Should you get accidental death insurance for your next trip? You may already have it. Check your life insurance policy. No life insurance? Check your credit cards. Most throw in some kind of travel insurance if you use them to book a trip.

Accidental death insurance is often paired with a dismemberment policy. This coolly appraises the worth of one eye, two eyes, limbs, fingers and toes, and how much money you get if you lose them. AD&D policies are a good idea for travellers who intend to do risky or dangerous things, or activities that have a chance of becoming risky or dangerous, like  swimming in shark-infested waters or crowd-surfing at Coachella.

If you don’t have it, do you need it?

That depends on what you want to do while you’re away. If you’re a voluntourist planning on re-roofing houses in in Haiti, maybe. Hitting the Emily Dickinson Poetry Festival? Save your money and buy the ladies a round of chamomile. Anything involving cobras or political upheaval, better safe than sorry.

The best way to figure out if you need accidental death insurance is to make a list of all the things you’d like to do on your trip. Then imagine the worst.

What does it cover?

Accidental death insurance pays a lump sum to the beneficiary. It won’t cover funeral expenses, or repatriation of the dead person’s remains. Think of it like life insurance for travellers. If you die on your trip, your beneficiary gets cash.

If you come back from your trip in less than one piece, you get a payout according to the bean counter’s going rate for that bit.

Some deaths don’t count

It’s important to read your policy carefully. Some plans don’t cover extremely dangerous activities like base jumping off buildings or exploring anywhere in Syria. Follow the rules! Wear your seat belt, if the vehicle has one. Don’t get drunk or stoned and get yourself killed: you’ll be dead and your beneficiary won’t get a dime. Don’t kill yourself.

Even more than most insurance, let’s hope this policy goes without a claim.