Most people think that they will be lucky enough not to fall victim to an accident. But the truth is that accidents can and do happen to anyone at anytime – usually when least expected. For example, did you know that in the UK every year 2.7 million people turn up at hospital accident and emergency departments seeking treatment because of an accident at home. Or that nearly 4,000 people die each year in accidents at home *?
If you are unlucky enough to have an accident that results in a serious injury, you may not be able to return to work quickly. And, if you have to take an extended leave of absence from work, your income could suffer greatly. The good news is that personal accident plans can offer tax free, lump sum cash payments to help you out financially – if you've suffered from a loss of income or in some other way – should the unexpected happen.
Many insurers offer standard personal accident insurance policies; however, limited personal accident cover is also often included in motor and travel insurance policies. The benefits of standard policies are that the cash payments are larger and there are usually fewer restrictions. For example, if the cover is under your travel insurance, the accident must have occurred whilst traveling.
Personal accident plans typically provide cover for a range of injuries arising from accidents, including permanent disablement. This could include, but is not limited to, quadriplegia, paraplegia, total and permanent loss of use of one or two limbs and complete and irreversible loss of sight in one or both eyes. Some plans will also provide cover for fractures, dislocations and even burns.
Furthermore, if you have to spend time in hospital after an accident, some plans will also provide cash benefits for hospitalization as well. If an accident resolved in one of the above injuries, the cash payments could have been used towards the cost of replacing your lost income through to the cost of a holiday to aid in your recuperation.
Most accident plans will also include an accident death benefit providing a generous cash lump sum to your estate in the event of death caused by an accident, while plans only offering accident death benefits are also available. The amount paid can vary and often plans will have different levels of cover. Some plans even pay out different depending on the circumstances of the accident (ie accidental death as a result of a road traffic accident). Cash payments with this cover can help your family with the often unexpected financial burdens bought about from such things as a loss of income, funeral expenses and even to cover the potential impact on your loved ones' incoming during bereavement.
Innovation has played a part in the personal accident market with insiders targeting specific groups of people with different versions of personal accident plans . For example, as slips and trips are more common among individuals aged 60+, one insurer has offered affordable cover for fractures and dislocations as a result of accidents, with multipliers if injury is caused as a result of a personal assault. If you fit into this age group and took out this cover, you could find the cash payment particularly useful if your accident replied in a hip fraction that may severely restrict mobility. What's more, with hip fractures generally having long waiting lists in the NHS, the same insurer even offers a choice of a cash payment or immediate private hospital treatment for the injury – the choice is yours.
Children can also usually be covered on personal accident plans but often they only receive a portion of the adult benefit (ie 50% of adult benefit). Some personal accident plans also provide telephone helplines for you to call upon you should need support during such a difficult time. And, the standalone plans are relatively low-cost starting from around £ 5 a month for a single policy.
There is no condemning the fact that anyone can be a victim of a personal accident and the financial after effects could, in turn, be great. But luckily, there are low-cost personal accident plans available to provide you with real peace of mind – whether you choose a comprehensive personal accident plan or an accidental death cover plan.