What is an 'Accidental Death Benefit'

The payment due to the beneficiary of an accidental death insurance policy, which is often a clause or a rider connected to a life insurance policy. The accidental death benefit is usually an amount paid in addition to the standard benefit payable if the insured died of natural causes.

Depending on the issuer of the policy, the accidental death benefit may extend up to a year after the initial accident occurred, so long as the accident led to the insured's death.

BREAKING DOWN 'Accidental Death Benefit'

Accidental death, as defined in accidental death insurance policies, is any death strictly due to accident. It typically excludes such things as acts of war, death caused by illegal activities, etc. Hazardous hobbies in which the insured regularly engages are generally specifically excluded as well. In the case of a fatal accident, death usually must occur within a period of time specified in the policy.

Accidental death benefit riders should be considered for people who work in or around potentially hazardous environments, and can be used to beef up the benefit paid to beneficiaries. These riders typically end once the insured person reaches the age of 70.

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