Life is filled with many uncertainties. Accidents add to the list of uncertainties. In order to secure ourselves against uncertainties, many of us invest in a term insurance or a health insurance plan. However, the primary difference between an accidental insurance and say a term plan is that accidental insurance secures you financially in the event of an accident. One might argue that term insurance plans come with an accidental death rider. Yes, that is correct. However, there are two points to note here. First, the accidental rider is operational only in case of death of the insured. In the event, the insured survives the accident, and worse is disabled – temporarily or otherwise – or dismembered, the term insurance investments you have made will unfortunately not be of help. Second, a standalone accidental cover gives your family added security in the event of your demise as a consequence of an accident. As the payout will be over and above any other policy cover you may have invested in to protect your family.
At times, accidents can be debilitating, if not life-threatening. While your health insurance cover can take care of your hospitalization expenses, having an accidental insurance plan will ensure that in the event of a short term or long term disability, your income remains protected. If you are incapacitated due to an accident, you will have to dig into your savings, or other long term investments in order to meet your immediate monthly needs. Thus disturbing the objectives with which those savings or investments were made. By opting for an accidental death and disability plan, you will not only ensure added security to your family, but also ensure maintenance of current lifestyle in the event of short or long term disability without having to dig into other savings.
According to a report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Road Traffic Injuries (RTIs) have emerged as the leading cause of deaths and disabilities in India. 4.97 lakh accidents were reported in the year 2011 – which translates to one accident every minute. More than a third of these accidents resulted in death – i.e., 1.42 lakh deaths or one death in every 3.7 minutes. Clearly, road accidents pose a significant risk to life and limb. The report further states that road accidents were the 9th leading cause of death in the year 2004, which is expected to rise to 5th leading cause of death by 2030 worldwide. The economic impact of road accidents is also significant at a national level. It is estimated to be 1% of Gross National Product (GNP) for low income countries, 1.5% of GNP for middle income countries and 2% of GNP for high income countries.
Personal accident insurance covers accidental death, permanent total disablement, permanent partial disablement, short term disablement, and dismemberment coverage. Based on the insurance plan and the insurer you choose, the plan features will vary. Usually, personal accident insurance coverage is available with minimal or no documentation. The policy cover for dismemberment is usually a percentage of the total cover. Hence if a person loses one limb, he/she will receive X% (as specified by the insurer) of the total cover and a higher percentage of the total cover if the person loses more than one limb.
The next question one might want to get clarity on is how much coverage should one opt for? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, just as in your other insurance requirements. Ideally, your insurance cover should secure yourself against all outstanding liabilities – be it your home loan, personal loan or any other commitments. When you factor in your liabilities and couple that with inflation, you will arrive at a corpus that is ideal for your requirement to help maintain your current lifestyle. Hence, consider these aspects carefully while determining your personal accident insurance coverage.
Clearly, accidental insurance can come in handy in the unfortunate instance of you meeting with an accident – at workplace or otherwise. Income protection is one of the major objectives of this type of insurance cover. A small cost to secure an accidental cover can go a long way in protecting you and your family. Your ability to earn an income is an invaluable asset. Why not protect it with a personal accident insurance cover?