Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Suffering from a sickness or injury can be an unpredictable event that halts the usual course of everyday life. This could result in you having to take time off work in order to recover. If this is the case, a loss of income could be critical to your ability to support yourself or loved ones. While we never like to think about the worst-case scenario, it is worth asking yourself, ‘if something were to happen to me, how would this affect dependent family members? Would I be in a position to continue to support them?’
This is where a good personal accident and sickness insurance policy should respond.
What is personal accident and sickness insurance?
Personal accident and sickness insurance is designed to protect your income in the event that you are unable to work. It will provide a weekly benefit as a portion of your income where you are unable to work due to a covered event arising from a bodily injury or sickness. These benefits may be limited by the insured amount selected, or a maximum of 85% of your average weekly wage.
Why is personal accident and sickness insurance important?
Having the right Personal Accident and Sickness insurance is a necessary precaution for any employee looking for continued support during time off work as a result of sickness or injury. This cover will provide income to you and your family in the event you are unable to work. This piece of mind is just one of the many benefits of personal accident insurance.
How do I choose the right cover?
Many policies will allow you to tailor the features based on your specific needs. While we recommend contacting an insurance broker to ensure you are getting the right level of cover at the right premium, it’s important to understand how it works yourself.
So, what is personal accident insurance really? Here’s a useful breakdown of the features of a Personal Accident and Sickness insurance policy.
- Accident only cover – pays you weekly benefits when you are unable to work because of injuries suffered as a result of an accident.
- Accident and Sickness cover – goes the extra step and provides cover when sickness prevents you from returning to work, as well as an injury resulting from an accident.
- Capital benefits – is a lump sum paid to you in the event you suffer a permanent injury or accidental death.
- The waiting period – or the ‘excess’ or ‘deferred’ period refers to the amount of time you have to be unfit for work until you can make a claim. While this time frame depends on the insurer, a general rule is that the premium you pay will be lower if the waiting period is longer. However, this means you will have to wait longer before you are able to receive benefits.
- Benefit period – refers to the maximum period of time you will receive benefits for once you make a claim. Similar to the waiting period, the shorter the benefit period runs for, the lower amount of premium you will pay. However, it is important to consider how long you will be unable to return to work for, as selecting a shorter benefit period may mean less in premium, but also may leave you without benefits while still out of work.
- Scope of cover – provides you with an option to select when and where you will be covered with regards to accidents. This includes being covered 24/7, covered at work and whilst commuting, or while only at work. While it may cost less to only be covered while at work, if you are injured on the weekend and unable to work, you will not receive benefits to support you during this period.
What is not covered by Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance?
It will depend on the policy, but generally, most insurers don’t cover injury or sickness which occurs as a result of:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Acts which are intentional, criminal or otherwise deliberately caused by you
- Being under the Influence of alcohol or drugs
- Participating in professional sports
- Acts of war and terrorism
What factors influence how the premium is calculated?
Your individual circumstances will play a significant role in calculating insurance premiums for Personal Accident and Sickness insurance. These include the previously mentioned features, such as the benefit period, waiting period, and level of cover (i.e. accident and sickness, capital benefits).
Insurers will also assess you as an individual, including but not limited to your age and occupation. The older we get, the greater the risk when it comes to injury through accident and sickness, as well as it is taking longer to recover from these debilitating incidents. The nature of your injury or sickness will also affect your ability to work, depending on the profession. A broken leg would not affect an office worker’s ability to carry on with their work, as it might a tradesperson. Premiums will generally be higher for those who are at higher risk of injury through accident or sickness, as well as those who are more likely to require time off work as a result of these events.
Hopefully, you are now aware of what Personal Accident and Sickness insurance is, how important it is in protecting your income and those who depend on it. But perhaps you’re still not sure of how your circumstances might affect the type of insurance policy you might need. Get in touch with Cerberos Brokers today to find out more.
If you are in need of cover to protect your income today, Cerberos can offer comprehensive personal accident and sickness cover which you can bind, purchase and receive full policy documentation online within minutes. Tailor your level of cover by choosing from a range of policy options that suit your lifestyle. Choose to pay in full or via monthly instalments. Get started today!