Like most people, you may not think about accident insurance until you need it. And that’s a big problem! Accidents happen. And when they do, a series of bills often follow them.
Accident insurance is one of the things you hope you never have to use. However, if you do, you can receive cash benefits that could be a lifesaver. Read on to learn more about this kind of insurance.
What Is Accident Insurance?
No matter how careful you are, accidents often occur when you least expect them. Some injuries, such as those resulting from being hit by a motorcycle, slipping on an icy sidewalk, falling from a ladder, or breaking your arm while throwing a pitch, can happen at any time. Beyond your injury, paying for the accident can be a serious pain.
As supplemental insurance, accident insurance helps pay for out-of-pocket medical and non-medical costs from an injury or accident.
A lump sum cash benefit will be paid directly to you, and you can use it however you want. It could be used to pay for hospital stays, medical exams, emergency treatment, transportation costs, lodging needs, etc. You can even dispense it to pay for some of your living expenses.
How Does It Work?
Accident insurance works by providing direct cash benefits when the unexpected occurs while you pay a premium, often monthly. The premium amount typically remains the same during the length of the policy. Meanwhile, the cash benefit amount varies depending on the level of coverage you’ve chosen.
Like most insurance types, it’s essential not to let your policy lapse. If you stop paying premiums or cancel your plan, you won’t be able to file a claim if an accidental injury occurs. Also, you wouldn’t be eligible to get back any payments you’ve ever made.
What Does Accident Insurance Cover?
Having a bicycle accident when exercising in your neighborhood or falling off a ladder while cleaning the gutters are examples that may warrant accident insurance coverage. This insurance can help with various mishaps, including:
- Unexpected medical expenses (i.e., ambulance transportation, hospitalization, doctors’ fees, and surgery)
- Lost wages if you’re unable to work due to your injury
- Other out-of-pocket costs, like transportation to doctor’s appointments or physical therapy sessions
Accident insurance may cover sports injuries based on your plan and the insurance company. Asking questions concerning specific details in each plan is vital. If you participate in sports or recreational activities, such as soccer, basketball, or football, ensure to ask if your policy covers them.
Accident insurance is often sold as a standalone or supplemental insurance to your primary health insurance policy. So if you have health insurance, remember to check if it includes accident insurance coverage.
What May Accident Insurance Not Cover?
Each accident insurance policy will differ in the details, but some common injuries might exclude you from receiving cash benefits, such as:
- Injuries caused by sickness or disease
- High-risk recreational sports injuries (i.e., bungee jumping, scuba diving, skiing)
- Injuries caused by reckless or dangerous activities
- Self-inflicted wounds (i.e., suicide)
- Injuries incurred while committing a crime
- Injuries occurring while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Injuries incurred before buying accident insurance
Who Should Get Accident Insurance?
You should strongly consider accident insurance if:
- You may not have enough finances for unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.
- You don’t have an HSA (Health Savings Account).
- You’re self-employed without paid sick leave; you can use accident insurance benefits to compensate for lost wages.
- You often take part in physical activities or play sports.
- You’re parents with children; your kids are prone to accidents, and this insurance can help cover unexpected costs that their health insurance won’t.
- You don’t have and want to use emergency savings for accidents.
Is Accident Insurance a Good Idea?
The short answer is yes.
Do you know that medical expenses are one of the biggest financial strains for Americans annually? And medical expenses from accidents are no exception to these expenses. Beyond covering medical costs, your injuries could put you at risk of missing work, adding to the stress of paying your utility bills and mortgage and putting food on your family table.
That’s where accident insurance comes into play.
Using accident insurance to cover medical costs is an excellent way to pay expensive bills while avoiding debt. Accident insurance can be a huge relief during a stressful time for you and your family.
Even if your health insurance covers 100 percent of your accident, benefits from accident insurance are still payable to you. You can pay for medical expenses or supplement loss of work and other bills. Flexibility is what makes this insurance type unique.
Tips for Buying Accident Insurance
When shopping for accident insurance, you should:
- Ask about premiums and what accident types and events are covered.
- Consider the company’s reputation because some companies cover more than others, while some delay payments until they’re satisfied that you’ve met the terms for a payout. It can be a problem if you need money to deal with immediate expenses.
- Pay attention to the events that are excluded from your policy coverage.
It’s advisable to think carefully at the time of buying accident insurance. There are many insurance providers, but only a few are worth your consideration for excellent coverage. Do your research and shortlist a few options that fulfill your requirements within a particular budget.