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Is Drowning Considered an Accidental Death for Insurance Purposes?
Drowning is usually considered an accidental death.
The short answer: Yes, drowning is usually considered an accidental death for insurance purposes.
But it’s important you take policy specifics into account, including limitations and exclusions.
First, let’s define what constitutes an accidental death.
An accidental death is a death that results by no fault of one’s own. It is unintentional, or as the name suggests, accidental.
Accidental Death Benefit
For insurance purposes, a death must occur within the period of time the policy is in effect for the accidental death benefit to be paid.
The death also must not fall under the category of limitations and/or exclusions, which would limit or omit the death benefit being paid.
Limitations and Exclusions
Limitations are conditions or procedures covered under a policy but at a benefit level lower than the norm. Exclusions are conditions or procedures that are completely omitted from coverage.
Common limitations and exclusions may include: use of drugs; avocational exclusions—activities like car racing, mountain climbing, and skimboarding; death while intoxicated; death that results as an act of war; and operating aircraft among many others.
So, for drowning to be considered an accidental death for insurance purposes and for the beneficiary to receive full death benefits, it often must:
- Be accidental
- Occur during the time of policy is in effect and
- Not be listed under a limitation or exclusion provision
Note that exclusions and what is considered to be an accident can vary by state.
Drowning is usually considered an accidental death for insurance purposes. However, what is considered an accidental death by drowning can vary by state, varies by policy, and you must take into account your policy’s limitations and exclusions.
2. Red Cross, Drowning Prevention & Facts, 2020, https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/drowning-prevention-and-facts.html
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