Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
Car insurance with death benefits
Loved ones can use this car insurance payout to cover funeral expenses.
With car insurance, accidental death benefits (ADB) coverage pays a modest death benefit in the event of a fatal car accident. Even with its low payout, it can take some financial pressure off your family — and many companies offer it as a free perk included with your policy. This coverage is sometimes called automobile death indemnity coverage.
What does a car insurance death benefit cover?
Depending on the state you live in, ADBs can be a lump sum payment for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills incurred before death
- Loss of wages up until the day of death
Should I look for car insurance with death benefits?
Accidental death benefits coverage can keep your loved ones from paying out of pocket for end-of-life expenses. For reference, the average funeral costs over $6,700. However, adding this car insurance coverage works best if you don’t qualify for life insurance, need a cheaper life insurance option or can find it as a free perk.
How to claim the death payout after a car accident
The steps to make an accidental death benefit claim will vary by insurance company, but this is the general process.
- Contact your insurance agent. As soon as possible after an accident, call your insurance provider even if there isn’t a fatality.
- File the claim. Keep in mind, these policy riders tend to have a time limit. For example, if the injured doesn’t die within 90 days of the accident, then the coverage can be denied.
- Provide documentation. You’ll probably need to send copies of the police report and death certificate to the insurance provider. The insurance company may also require a post-mortem exam before they agree to pay the benefit.
- Prove your relationship to the deceased. Death benefits are typically paid to the spouse of the deceased, or to the parents in the death of a minor. Depending on the policy, the benefits may also be paid to the deceased’s estate.
- Receive payment. You will either receive your payout as a check or direct deposit within the timeframe stipulated in the policy.
Reasons that car insurance won’t pay the death benefit
Certain circumstances may cause an accident to be excluded from coverage. Some common exclusions to this coverage include:
- Suicide. This coverage only includes accidental death. If suicide is suspected, the insurance company might require an investigation — potentially including a post-mortem exam — to prove they have to pay.
- Crime. If the accident happens as the result of criminal activity, the benefit won’t be paid.
- Dangerous activities and hobbies. If the accident occurs during a dangerous activity or hobby, such as illegal street racing, it will be excluded from coverage.
- Occupational accident. If the fatal accident happens while on the job, it may be excluded. Exceptions to this exclusion may include taxi drivers and other professional drivers, depending on the policy and the state where you live.
- Prior disease or injury. If the death occurs because of an existing condition that’s not related to the car accident, your insurance won’t pay out.
Compare car insurance with death benefits
This coverage is usually offered as a free perk or add-on to your existing insurance policy. Compare the overall costs and benefits of companies with death benefits and choose Get quotes to see your customized rate.
Accidental death benefit coverage can offer real peace of mind to road warriors and other drivers who spend a lot of time in their cars. But it’s important to make sure you’re not duplicating coverage that already exists in your insurance policy.
As always, take the time to research your options and compare insurance policies before you decide.
More guides on Finder
Waffle car insurance review
Access an intuitive app, wide coverage and few exclusions when Waffle’s car insurance drops in late July.
Life insurance for seniors over 70
A final expense life insurance policy may be your best option in your 70s, especially if you have prior health problems.
Savvy car insurance review
This insurance shopping tool compares 100+ companies and prefills your quote forms.
Car accident statistics
Find out which states have the most and the least deadly car accidents per vehicle miles driven.
GM OnStar car insurance review
Existing users can get a discount, but coverage is only offered in Arizona for now.
Lemonade car insurance review for 2021
Safe drivers and electric car owners could see cheap rates, but its claims process isn’t perfect.
How much does umbrella insurance cost?
Get a low-cost policy for liability expenses that exceed your car or home insurance coverage.
Best umbrella insurance
Receive extra liability coverage with an umbrella policy from these top insurers, though they may require you to have car insurance through them.
Combined life insurance review July 2021
Find unusually low face values for a whole life policy, ideal for supplemental insurance.
Living benefits riders for life insurance
Use your death benefits to help pay for medical expenses while you’re still alive.
Ask an Expert