Image via Flickr user Jaume Escofet
Thom Yorke was right when he sang the verse “we are accidents waiting to happen.” Well… at least in my case because I can’t walk to the restroom without stubbing my toe every time. But accidents can and do happen. It doesn’t matter whether you’re operating heavy machinery, hiking in Tibet, riding the bus, or even taking a shower. And if you’re uninsured against injury or death from accidents, it could prove disastrous for your finances.
What Is Personal Accident (PA) Insurance?
PA Insurance provides you and your family with financial support in the event you suffer an injury, disability, or die from an accident. Although it sounds similar to a life insurance policy, PA Insurance differs from life insurance in two ways:
- PA Insurance is meant to cover death directly resulting from accidents, not death from natural causes, while life insurance covers both.
- Unlike other life insurance policies that provide savings/investment benefits in addition to any death benefits, PA Insurance offers no such benefits.
Some industries such as transportation, manufacturing, and construction have a greater chance of on-the-job accidents and deaths – that’s something to think about if you operate heavy machinery or drive daily. And if you don’t qualify for Workmen’s Compensation or are uninsured, a Personal Accident (PA) Insurance policy can protect you for $200 – $300 a year.
What Constitutes an “Accident?”
Understanding what the definition of “is” is doesn’t just apply to former US presidents and their ah, indiscretions. It also applies to PA Insurance in determining what constitutes an “accident.” Unfortunately, some policies are written in a confusing manner that makes Shakespeare easy to read by comparison.
Fortunately, insurers follow the same general principles when it comes to defining “accident” – it’s an unforeseeable event that causes injury at the moment of its occurrence. But if the “accident” was caused by a cumulative effect, it’s not considered an accident.
For example, if you routinely skip work to play golf (government job right?) and that “nagging” pain in your elbow and Achilles heel turns into a debilitating injury, it’s not considered “accidental” by insurers, but cumulative.
by Jeff Cuellar
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