Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Considerations

Some purchase accidental death and dismemberment insurance as a way to protect themselves and their families in the event of an accident because of unforeseen hazards. If a policyholder dies or becomes dismembered, the policyholder or his or her family may collect on the policy.

They may also have options for pursuing legal action against another party if the accidental death or dismemberment is attributable to another party’s negligent actions.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance plans pay out to the policyholder’s beneficiaries or the policyholder in the event of a death or dismemberment. But when filing a claim, it’s important to understand the terms and limitations of the policy.

Some policies may not cover certain circumstances. Each company has different policies, but generally deaths caused by the following are not covered:

  • physical or mental illness;
  • war;
  • suicide;
  • intentional injury;
  • illegal drugs; or
  • driving under the influence.


Some policies contain provisions that the insured must die within a certain period of time after an accident for the benefits to be valid as well.

Pursuing Accidental Death or Dismemberment Insurance Claims

Some insurers may use certain strategies to avoid paying after an accidental death or dismemberment. Some might claim the policy is void if the insured misrepresented certain information during the application. Further, if an insured stopped making payment on the policy, that is reason for the policy to be void, but usually insurers have to send notice of missed payments.

When insurance companies try to avoid payment of claims, policyholders can file breach of contract actions against the company to compel them to make good on their promises. Tort actions sometimes can be filed against insurers for any other harms that come from not making good on the contract or other fraudulent business practices. Talk to your attorney about what recourse you may have if an insurance company refuses to make good on a policy.

Other Benefits after Accidental Deaths or Dismemberments

An accident may lead to legal action against a party responsible for it, and by extension the death or dismemberment. The type of action will depend on the details of the case. For example, if the policyholder dies, surviving family members can bring a wrongful death action against the liable party. This benefits the decedent’s spouse, children, or other dependents.

If the accident resulted in dismemberment which the victim survived, the victim may bring a personal injury case against the liable party. Either case can recover for medical bills, lost wages and earning capacity, and more. It may even allow recovery of noneconomic damages like pain and suffering or mental anguish related to the death or serious injury.

Cordisco & Saile LLC is committed to protecting victims’ and families’ rights after a serious or fatal accident in the North East Philly area. Contact our office at 215-642-2335 to discuss your options for recovering compensation after the accident.