Is accident insurance worth it?

Whether you’re considering accident insurance through your workplace or shopping elsewhere, you’ve likely wondered, is accident insurance worth it?

To answer this question, let’s first look at scenarios where this type of coverage could be helpful, what it typically covers, and how it might supplement and differ from other types of insurance.

What is Accident Insurance and How Does it Differ from Other Insurance Policies?

Accident insurance, also referred to as personal accident insurance, offers payouts for pre-defined, unexpected bodily injury for anyone on the policy. Accidents are covered wherever, whenever, and however they occur unless they were self-inflicted or part of committing a crime!

Payments are typically in the form of a lump-sum amount and sent directly to you to be used however you see fit. You can use the payout to subsidize the out-of-pocket costs that could build up after an accidental injury or cover living expenses in case you’re unable to work.

Do I Need Accident Insurance?

That answer may differ from person to person, though there are many reasons why it may make sense for you. Some of those reasons include (but are not necessarily limited to):

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1. Accidents Can Happen to Anyone

While we would all prefer to avoid accidents permanently, they do happen – and more often than you might think. 

An American is accidentally injured every second.

National Safety Council Injury Facts, 2021

You might slip on one of your belongings left on the staircase, be involved in a car accident, or injure yourself while tackling a home project. The list of possibilities is practically endless.

You may also want to consider how accident insurance can protect your family members – particularly children. As much as you would like to safeguard them from anything that could happen, you cannot keep an eye on them every minute of the day. From playground injuries to burns and stitches, kids are particularly accident-prone (and expensive)!

2. You Might Miss Work Due to An Accident

Even if you have a desk job that requires minimal physical labor, an accident could still mean that you miss extended time from work. 

A broken arm could impact your use of a computer, a broken leg might prevent you from driving, or a serious eye injury could temporarily incapacitate you altogether.

If you work in an hourly position, losing time could strain your financial situation, particularly if you juggle costly medical bills. This is when a payout from your accident insurance policy could be vital to staying afloat financially.

3. You Don’t Have Medical Insurance

While accident insurance is not a replacement for medical insurance, it still covers some expenses and is a relatively affordable option. Having some form of health coverage in the event of an accident could mean the difference between paying your medical bills and taking on significant debt. 

Medical bankruptcies represent 66.5% of all personal bankruptcies.

American Journal of Public Health

Even if you get medical insurance in the future, accident insurance can still be used to help cover out-of-pocket expenses your medical plan doesn’t cover, like high deductibles and copays.

4. Your Eligibility is Not Affected By Pre-Existing Conditions

Personal accident insurance policies do not come with lengthy questionnaires or required biometric exams to evaluate any risky pre-existing conditions.

Instead, most policies will cover you independent of your current medical situation. This means that if a prior health issue puts you at additional risk of an accident, your policy will still kick in if you are injured.

Should I Get Accident Insurance Through My Employer?

It is never a bad idea to explore insurance through your employer. However, the worth of accident insurance depends on your individual situation.

While every accident insurance provider follows their own set of eligibility requirements, so might your employer. How many hours you work each week and how long you have been with the company may be additional factors determining your eligibility. Either way, most accident insurance policies secured through an employer will not prove sufficient in the event of a major accident.

Those policies often include high deductibles. But, a budget-friendly accident insurance plan can help you cover that deductible before your standard insurance kicks in.

If you suffer an injury that warrants a brief visit to the emergency room but is not bad enough to keep you away from work, it might be helpful if your disability insurance falls short. For this, your disability insurance would not activate, but your personal accident insurance could help ease the financial burden.

To be clear, personal accident insurance is not meant to replace your auto insurance or your traditional health, life, AD&D, or disability insurance. If your job provides you with those options, you should, of course, consider them, as they are helpful on their own. Personal accident insurance can supplement insurance through your employer and enhance your overall coverage, helping you increase your financial resilience.

What is Covered Under Accident Insurance?

A standard personal accident insurance policy typically covers the following medical expenses (please note this is not necessarily an exhaustive list):

— Emergency room treatment

— Hospital admission

— Confinement and ICU care

— Initial office visits

— Major diagnostic exams and x-rays

— Medical appliances

— Pain management

— Physical therapy

— Prosthetic devices/artificial limbs

— Rehabilitation

— Transportation to medical appointments

Accident insurance also differs from traditional health insurance because the lump-sum payment provided to you is not restricted to medical expenses.

In other words, you can use the payout for anything else you may need due to accident-related lost wages.

That may include childcare expenses while you are still recovering from an injury that makes it physically difficult to look after your children. It can also help you pay the mortgage or cover groceries while you are not working.

Check for Coverage Gaps in Your Safety Net – Is Accident Insurance Worth It?

If you were not already, you now might be asking yourself, “Is accident insurance worth it?” The answer depends on your circumstance, but it is worth exploring.

Insurance through your employer might not give you the coverage you need in the event of a severe injury. On the other hand, supplemental insurance might help you sleep a little sounder knowing that you have those added benefits if the unexpected happens to you or a loved one.

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