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Insights & advice

What is Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance?

March 2023 – 15 min read

Key takeaways

  • AD&D insurance covers death in exceptional circumstances

  • It is not a substitute for life insurance

  • AD&D can be affordable supplementary coverage, especially for people in high-risk occupations

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What is AD&D insurance?

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance – usually shortened to AD&D insurance – covers you if you unexpectedly die of something other than natural causes.

For example, it covers someone’s death in a car crash or workplace accident, but it would not cover someone who died of cancer or a heart attack.

AD&D, also known as accident insurance, also covers “dismemberment.” This translates to the loss of a body part or function, like loss of sight or hearing.

What does AD&D insurance cover?

AD&D is not designed to be a substitute for traditional life insurance, because it offers specific coverage that applies under certain circumstances.

It covers accidental death as well as dismemberment, which includes the loss or loss of use of limbs, sight, hearing and speech in an accident.

Examples of deaths that might be covered by AD&D insurance include:

A fall
Road accident
Accident involving heavy machinery

What are the benefits of AD&D insurance?

AD&D is known as “double indemnity” insurance. This is because it could result in your beneficiaries receiving two separate payments if you die in an accident. They would receive the life insurance benefit, but also an additional second amount, due to the AD&D insurance.

Who should get AD&D insurance?

While anything can happen to anyone, people who work in jobs that are at a higher risk of a workplace accident may find AD&D particularly attractive. AD&D insurance is generally only offered up to a certain age. Canada Life’s portable benefits for example offers coverage up to age 85, while our Freedom to ChooseTM health and dental insurance offers optional AD&D coverage for people up to age 71.  

How much does AD&D insurance cost?

Because AD&D insurance only covers specific situations, it’s relatively inexpensive.

Where can you buy AD&D insurance?

AD&D can be bought wherever you purchase your life insurance policy. For example, if you have workplace benefits with Canada Life, you may be able to add this coverage to your policy as part of Portable Benefits, if you’re eligible under your plan. AD&D may also already be part of the group benefit plan selected by your employer.

Footnote default
default The information provided is based on current laws, regulations and other rules applicable to Canadian residents. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. Rules and their interpretation may change, affecting the accuracy of the information. The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation. For specific situations, advice should be obtained from the appropriate legal, accounting, tax or other professional advisors. Full details of coverage, including limitations and exclusions that apply, are set out in the certificate of insurance provided on enrollment. 

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