Last Sunday, when my mother told me that I look like my father, there was a quick flashback of what we all had to endure in the past few years. A few years ago, a truck coming from the wrong direction hit my Dad’s car. A passerby took my father to a hospital where he was admitted for 20 days. His legs crippled forever! As I was quite young at that time, my mother did not tell anything about my father’s accident.
She made an excuse that my father had gone on an official tour. When he was discharged, many relatives came to my house. Everybody tried to behave normally to let a 10-year old girl enjoy her life. Finally, my uncle told me about the reality with tears rolling down his eyes. But, at that moment, I didn’t know that my life would change completely.
My father was in the mid-40s when he met with an accident and became disabled. At that time, he was working as a civil engineer in Pune. Like many others, he never planned for unforeseen events like death or accidents.
Though my father had term insurance and health insurance policies, they did not help much. As the accident only led to disability and not death, the term insurance policy did not pay anything. Similarly, the health insurance policy covered only hospitalisation expenses and that too up to a certain limit. Due to the disability, my father also lost his job. It means, besides medical expenditure, there were household expenses, including loan EMIs, school fees, and credit card expenses.
Amid the feeling of being lost in a dense forest with no light, my mother finally picked up a job as a front desk clerk.
However, it meant we had to live a life without luxury. My mother had to work hard to meet both household and medical expenses. After high school, I started working as a receptionist and pursued my higher education part time.
Only if my father had opted for a personal accident cover, our life would’ve been much easier. The policy would have paid a lump sum when my father met with an accident and would have been a great support for us financially.
Every morning, when we read the newspaper, we can easily find news on road accidents. In fact, while writing this article, I got to know that fifteen coaches of the Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailed near Kanpur, leaving over 44 people injured.
Apart from the mental trauma, such incidents lead to financial setback as well. The situation deteriorates further if the breadwinner is involved in an accident. Therefore, it is necessary that one should be ready to compensate for such losses. Buying a personal accident insurance is the first step in this direction.
How can a personal accident insurance policy help you?
A personal accident insurance offers financial assistance in case of the loss of income due to accident or disability. In addition to death, the plan also covers disability— both partial and total. The amount received from the insurer can be used to pay household and medical expenses. A quick look at the benefits of the policy:
- No medical test and documentation required
- High cover at low premium rates
- Worldwide coverage
- Easy claim process
- 24×7 support service
What does it cover?
A personal accident policy covers not only the major accidents, but also the minor ones. Some of the benefits available under the policy are:
- Accidental death benefit: If the policyholder dies in an accident, the nominee is entitled to get 100% of the sum assured.
- Total permanent disability: The nominee gets the total sum assured of the policy.
- Permanent partial disability: The policyholder gets a certain percentage of the sum assured for a specific period of time.
- Temporary partial disability: In case the policyholder is disabled for a few months, thereby not able to work, the insured gets a certain percentage of the sum assured for a fixed period of time.
- Accidental hospital daily allowance: Some insurers offer per day allowance in the case of hospitalisation.
- Some personal accident insurance policies offer extra benefits, such as:
- Child education benefits
- Legal and education benefits
- Injury arising due to terrorism
- Funeral expenses
A standalone or a rider?
Though personal accident coverage is available both as a standalone policy and as a rider, it is recommended to go for an individual policy. Riders offer a limited coverage, only for an accidental death and permanent disability. On the contrary, a standalone policy gives comprehensive coverage by including different types of accidents, temporary disability and the loss of income.
Further, even if your employer is offering you a group personal accident cover, you should go for an individual policy that offers comprehensive coverage even when you leave the job. Moreover, an individual personal accident insurance can be customised as against the group cover which is fixed.
What is the cost?
Unlike other insurance policies, the premium of a personal accident insurance doesn’t depend on the age of the policyholder. In fact, it is the profession of a person which plays an important role in deciding the premium. It means a 25-year old crime reporter will have to pay a high premium as compared to a 50-year old dentist. For the premium calculation, occupations are usually divided under the following groups:
|Class I (Low Risk)||Class 2 (High Risk)||Class 3 (Very High Risk)|
|Dentist||Garage Mechanic||Airline Pilot|
At the time of policy renewal, you can expand your coverage as per the rise in your salary.
It is impossible to predict when we will die— it might be one year down the line, fifty years away or is just around the corner. But what is possible is planning for the family’s well-being in our absence.
If you take anything from my story, you will understand the importance of securing the family’s future and the financial security. Only a personal accident insurance can provide you such security
Remember, it is good to take chances in life but living recklessly is an imprudent move!