Life is full of surprises. Nobody minds a pleasant surprise, but unexpected tragedies can be devastating for the entire family. A health insurance policy can cover you against the most critical diseases. But with accidents getting common, you need a separate to deal effectively with the consequences of a mishap. With an accident, life can change its course in a matter of seconds. All that you can do is be prepared to face the aftermath.
No matter how carefully you drive or move around, accidents can happen anytime. This can lead to either a partial or a complete disability. Apart from the medical treatment expenses, you also need to contend with a temporary or permanent loss of income. The situation can turn tragic if you are the family’s sole breadwinner. So personal accident insurance is as essential as life & health insurance to every person.
Top Reasons Why You Need Personal Accident Cover
- Covers the Medical Treatment Expenses
The personal accident policy covers all the medical treatment expenses such as hospitalization, surgery, and pharmacy bills.
In addition, it also covers other related expenses, such as ambulance charges and funeral expenses in the event of death
- Coverage for Temporary or Permanent Disability
An accident can result in the loss of either or both limbs, partial or complete loss of eyesight, loss of speech/hearing, etc. Apart from the medical expenses, personal accident insurance also covers the loss of income to the policyholder due to the disability. Without a personal accident insurance policy, you end up exhausting all your savings on treatment. You may also need to grapple with an uncertain future due to the loss of your income-earning capacity.
- The Policy Provides Death Benefits
In the unfortunate event of the policyholder’s death due to an accident, the insurer will pay a lump sum amount to the nominee/family members. This is especially significant if the policyholder is the family’s sole earning member with young children and aged parents dependent on his/her income. The policy will also cover the children’s education if it is included in the plan.
- Other Miscellaneous Benefits
The personal accident policy also provides benefits such as ambulance & transportation charges to shift the patient for treatment, home alterations & vehicle modifications for comfortable working, and any legal charges that may arise due to court cases after the accident. Daily cash allowance is paid to the policyholder during the period of hospitalization. Several policies also have features to customize them for the policyholder’s unique requirements.
Types of Personal Accident Covers
There are two main categories of personal accident insurance.
(i) Individual Cover: This policy only covers individuals and typically provides higher coverage. It provides death benefits along with compensation for temporary or permanent disabilities
(ii) Group Insurance: Many companies offer group insurance coverage for their employees at a nominal premium. Accident insurance is a critical component of workplaces such as plants, factories, mining sites, etc., that are highly accident-prone.
Coverage Under Personal Accident Insurance
The following types of coverage are available under personal accident insurance cover.
- Accidental Death Cover
If the policyholder dies due to an accident, the policy will pay the sum insured (lump sum amount) to the family members
- Permanent/Total Disability
If the accident results in any form of permanent or total disability, such as loss of limbs or eyesight, the policy will pay the agreed sum insured to the policyholder. This ensures some kind of compensation for the loss of future income.
- Temporary Total Disability
If the accident results in a temporary disability and the policyholder is bedridden for some time, the policy will pay a weekly or monthly allowance. This provides compensation for the loss of income during the period of sickness.
- Partial Disability
If the accidental injury results in partial disabilities such as loss of a limb, toe, fingers, etc., a certain percentage of the sum insured will be paid to the policyholder.
- Conditional Coverages
Several insurance companies now provide conditional coverage, such as the cost of plastic or cosmetic surgeries that may be required after an accident. Additional benefits, such as children’s education, any legal expenses, etc., are covered if they are specifically chosen by the policyholder.
Exclusions in Personal Accident Insurance Policies
A personal accident insurance scheme does not cover every accident or mishap. The general exclusions from the policy are:
- Suicide & self-inflicted injuries
- Any pre-existing injury or disability
- Injuries during the course of an adventurous activity
- Accidents under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Any war or terrorism-related injuries
- Hospitalization expenses (covered under health insurance)
Factors to Consider Before Buying an Accident Cover
The needs, objectives, and situations of every individual are unique & different. A standard policy may not always be ideal & comprehensive. It is imperative for policyholders to understand their specific requirements before buying a personal accident cover.
Consider factors such as your age, monthly income, expenses, liabilities, family size, occupation, professional hazards, travel frequency, etc., before you purchase the policy. As a thumb rule, the sum insured has to be 100-120 times your monthly income.
Do not hesitate to take professional advice if you find it challenging to choose the right product.
Settlement of Claims
The claims settlement procedure is straightforward. The cashless claim benefit can be availed in any of the network hospitals of the insurer. With the insurance card and valid ID proof, the claims are settled within an hour. If you need an emergency admission and cannot find a network hospital, you can pay the bill first and then claim reimbursement from the insurer.
Accidents can happen when you are traveling by road, rail, air, or at the workplace. An accident is something that strikes and hits you when you are least expecting it. A split second can change your life forever. It is always better to have adequate financial protection to cover the treatment costs and the loss of income, if any.An accident insurance policy also provides death benefits to the family of the deceased policyholder. Though the loss of life can never be fully compensated, this can at least alleviate the financial burden of the family members.