If you are an employee covered by the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program, there’s an extra benefit in that plan you may not be aware of. It’s called the Accidental Death and Dismemberment provision.

AD&D will provide you with additional money if you are in an accident that results in the loss of a limb or eyesight. And it provides a benefit to your survivors if you have a fatal accident. In either case, the loss or death must occur within 90 days of the accident and be a direct result of an injury sustained in that accident, not from any other cause.

If you are an employee who is covered by FEGLI Basic or Option A-Standard insurance, you are entitled to AD&D coverage at no additional cost. To understand how much you or your survivors would receive under AD&D, you need to know what your current coverage is. If you have Basic insurance, it equals your Basic pay rounded to the nearest $1,000 plus $2,000. Option A-Standard is worth exactly $10,000.
If you die as a result of an accident, your survivors would receive the principal amount of your insurance plus an equal amount of AD&D. For example, if your Basic insurance was $80,000, your survivors would receive $160,000. If you were enrolled in Option A, they’d receive $20,000 ($10,000 + $10,000).

However, if you survived the accident and lost a hand, foot or the sight in one eye, you’d receive half of the amount of your principal coverage. For example, using the figures above, if you lost one limb, and were covered by Basic insurance, you’d receive $40,000, $5,000 if covered by Option A. If you lost two or more limbs, you’d receive the full amount: $80,000 or $10,000.

Note: There’s an upper limit to what can be paid under AD&D. In short, regardless of the number of losses resulting from a single accident, you can’t be paid any more than an amount equal to the principal. However, if you suffer another loss in a subsequent accident, you can be paid for that under the same basic rules spelled out above.

While this is a generous and much needed benefit, there are limitations on when it can be paid. In short, it won’t be paid if your loss or death were the result of, caused by, or contributed to by one of the following:

• physical or mental illness;
• the diagnosis or treatment of physical or mental illness;
• ptomaine or bacterial infection, unless it is caused by an accidentally sustained external wound;
• hernia, no matter how sustained;
• a war (declared or undeclared), any act of war, or any armed aggression against the United States, in which nuclear weapons are actually being used;
• a war (declared or undeclared), any act of war, or any armed aggression or insurrection in which you are in actual combat at the time the bodily injuries are sustained;
• suicide or attempted suicide;
• injuring yourself on purpose;
• illegal or illegally obtained drugs that you administer to yourself.

Let’s hope you never need to cash in on this benefit.