A government spends crores to build a flyover. It’s inaugurated with much fanfare. Citizens enjoy the smooth ride, until, one day, it comes crashing down. Lives are lost and many are maimed. After a review, engineers figure out that despite the swanky look, the flyover had a faulty design. One extra pillar, and the disaster could have been averted. The personal accident cover is very much like that extra pillar in your insurance portfolio. You may have life and health insurance and even a critical illness policy. But what if you had an accident that left you disabled? This is the ‘fault’ in your insurance design the personal accident policy effectively sets right.
What is a personal accident cover?
If you buy a personal accident cover, the insurer will pay the sum assured or a part of it if an accident leaves you disabled or causes your death.
What qualifies as an accident?
Any unexpected event, which leads to disability or death, is an accident. It could be due to a fire outbreak, an earthquake or a flood. Or, it could even be an everyday incident, like a fracture while playing gully cricket.
Types of cover:
Death:Insurers usually pay 100% of the cover amount as a one-time lump sum if the insured person dies in an accident.
Permanent total disability: This refers to the loss of limbs or their function, total blindness, and the like. In this case, too, the insurer usually pays 100% of the sum assured as a lump sum. The disability must last for more than 365 days for the insurer to consider it permanent.
Permanent partial disability: This means the partial loss of function of one or more limbs. The insurer usually pays a part of the sum assured as a lump sum.
Temporary total disability: If the disability lasts for less than 365 days, it will qualify as temporary. Insurers usually make a daily or weekly payment, usually up to some 100-odd weeks. The daily payout and the number of weeks will vary according to the insurer.
Types of policy:
Individual: This type of policy covers one person against death or disability arising out of an accident.
Family: This will cover you, your spouse, and children. Options of an add-on policy for your dependent parents are also available.
Group: Companies cover their employees under this type of policy. It is usually very basic and may not offer too many benefits.
Why you must buy a personal accident cover
People tend to think nothing can touch them. But, destiny may think otherwise. India has some of the most unsafe roads in the world. A government report revealed that 17 people died in road accidents every hour. The grim figure may have increased because this data was collected in 2016. More than 1.5 lakh people died in road accidents across the country that year. Need we say more why you need a personal accident cover?
Here are some of its benefits:
- It’s cheap: The annual premium usually ranges between Rs 100 and Rs 120 for every lakh of the sum assured. It may be even less than that.
- It will cover for your income: In the case of a loss of job, the payout you get from the insurer can take care of your medical and household expenses. Or, you can invest the amount and earn a regular income from it. You can also pay off your debts with it.
- No need for tests: You do not need to undergo medical tests to get a policy. But you have to declare any existing disability.
- Worldwide coverage: Even if you meet with an accident while travelling abroad, you can claim the benefit.
Things to keep in mind:
- Who should buy the policy? Ideally everyone, including children, should have an accident cover. Misfortune doesn’t come knocking, after all. It is therefore better to be prepared for any mishap.
- Amount of cover: The sum assured must be at least 100 times your monthly salary.
- Exclusions: You may think that if you break a leg on a hike, the insurer will pay for the treatment. Well, it just may not. The list of ‘exclusions’ differs for every insurer. So, go through it very carefully.
- Read the fine print: Understand very clearly what the insurer defines as total or partial disability and the circumstances under which you can make the claim.
How to buy a personal accident cover:
Personal accident covers come as a standalone plan as well as an add-on with a life or auto insurance plan, a credit card, or a loan. It is always better to buy a standalone policy. The add-on plans do not provide comprehensive coverage. You can buy a plan by visiting the insurer’s office. Some companies have online plans, too.
You never know when life throws you lemons. But with proper insurance, you can take some of the sourness out of it, even if not make lemonade. A personal accident cover gives your insurance portfolio a complete look along with the life, health, and critical illness policies. It’s the fourth pillar of your mental peace. Do not ignore it.