insurance

Senior asks if accidental death and dismemberment insurance is a waste of money

Jack HungelmannDear Insurance Adviser,
I have several accidental death and dismemberment policies that I have paid on for years. I just turned 72, and my wife of 52 years just turned 70. At what age will my benefits cease? If I die due to an accident, will the insurance companies still pay anything? Do I still have insurance, or am I just throwing my money away each month?
-- Roy

Senior couple walking under tree cover | Stevecoleimages/Vetta/Getty Images

Dear Roy,
I think that, if you're healthy, you're wasting your money. I suspect you have other insurance that will pay certain amounts of money if you die or are dismembered in an accident. However, at 72 years old, you're far more likely to die from illness than from an accident.

I don't like any insurance that pays only under certain conditions. I call those types of policies "Las Vegas insurance." For example, even though a fair amount of home insurance claims are caused by storms, you wouldn't buy a homeowners policy that covers only storms.

If you're going to buy insurance, don't waste your money on these types of bets; there are casinos for that purpose. In your case, buy the real deal: life insurance that covers death from any illness or injury.

If you are still healthy and your wife or someone you care about would be hurt financially by your death, then take the money you've been spending on accidental death and dismemberment coverage and buy regular life insurance. But if you have pre-existing medical issues that would keep you from qualifying for a new life insurance policy, then keep what you have.

Good luck!

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