Driving is therapeutic and fun and until the scary reality of an accident hits us. Accidents not only cause significant damages to the vehicles involved but also inflict physical injuries and even cause death of people involved. While your car insurance plan would cover the damages incurred by your vehicle, it has limited scope for the loss you and the passengers suffer personally in terms of bodily injuries. That is why the existence of a personal accident cover is rather an important one. Personal accident insurance cover includes the complete treatment expenses for accidental injuries as well as compensation for death or disabilities.
Benefit and Features of a Personal Accident Cover
Financial Assistance: Personal accident cover gives tremendous support in the case of unannounced financial setbacks due to an accident. Quality healthcare and emergency treatments are already quite expensive. Financing the overall treatment becomes even more expensive when adding the additional support required for accident victims. A personal accident insurance cover is the only kind of insurance plan that can offer complete coverage for accidental injuries and other repercussions.
Death Benefits: While your basic car insurance plan with comprehensive coverage may offer coverage for emergency treatment, personal accident cover is the only cover that offers death and disability benefits as well. This means not only you but your dependents will also be taken care of in case of any mishap.
Additional Benefits: Personal accident insurance cover may also offer supplementary benefits like repatriation expenses, funeral expenses, etc. depending on the comprehensiveness of the plan.
Online Availability: Most insurance providers have their personal accident covers available online. This means you can easily shop for this immensely important coverage from the comfort of your home.
Expenses for the treatment of any injuries caused by an accident. This includes all kinds of medical expenses that are required for the insured to get treated properly.
Death benefit: The dependents of the policyholders are compensated with a death benefit equal to the total assured sum of the personal accident cover. In short, the compensation here is paid in full as decided when the plan was bought.
Temporary or Permanent Disability: Compensation is offered to the policyholder in the case the accident leads to a partial permanent/temporary disability or a total temporary/permanent disability. The compensation amount can differ as per the disability, though. For example, losing one limb in an accident will make you eligible for 50% of the total compensation amount for disabilities in the plan, while losing both limbs will make you eligible for the full compensation amount. The same applies to eyesight and hearing loss as well.
Repatriation expenses: Personal accident cover also often pays for repatriation and other similar expenses such as funeral costs.
Exclusions of a Personal Accident Cover
Self-harm, self-inflicted injuries or suicide attempts
Death, disability or injuries caused when driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances
Injuries, death, or disabilities caused when using the vehicle for illegal activities
Death, disabilities or injuries caused due to pregnancy or childbirth in the vehicle
Death, disabilities or injuries caused due to war or acts of war
Injuries, death or disabilities caused due to adventure sports or activities
Death, disabilities or injuries caused when the accident happens outside of the geographical coverage of the plan
Types of Personal Accident Covers
Personal Accident Cover for Owner-Driver: As the name suggests, this type of personal accident cover is made for the owner-driver of the car, aka the policyholder. The personal accident insurance cover made for owner-driver only covers the policyholder’s injuries. Your treatment costs will be covered by the insurance providers and compensation is offered in the case of accidental death or disability caused by an accident. The owner-driver PA cover is not applicable for passengers in the car or even a different driver, unless included in the policy as a named driver.
Personal Accident Cover for Passengers: An important add-on for all those who travel with passengers quite frequently, a personal accident cover for passengers is designed especially for the passengers in a car. The cover is limited to including passengers up to the allowed seating limit of the vehicle. For example, since a sedan or a hatchback car has a seating limit of three passengers, no more than 3 passengers will be covered by the personal accident insurance cover for passengers. The benefits included here are similar to those of PA cover for owner-driver.
Personal Accident Cover for Paid Drivers: Hired drivers are not covered under the owner-driver personal accident cover. A separate personal accident cover for hired drivers has to be bought in case your car is driven by a paid driver. The benefits included are similar to those of basic personal accident cover – treatment expenses, disability compensation and death benefit.
Group Personal Accident Cover: Group personal accident insurance covers are designed for employees who drive corporate vehicles such as company cars. A group personal accident cover works in combination with the fleet insurance plans that the company has bought for cars that are used for business purposes. A group personal accident insurance cover, yet again, offers the same benefits as other personal accident covers. However, this cover is only applicable when the company vehicles are used for business purposes only.
Why Should You Have a Personal Accident Insurance Cover?
Accidents wreak havoc not only on your vehicle but also on you and your family. The trauma of sustaining injuries in an accident or worse, disabilities or death, brings quite a lot of emotional instability. On top of that, the expenses that an accident brings in can burn a hole in anyone’s pocket. Personal accident covers can help manage these financial setbacks ideally. On top of that, accidental claims are the most filed claims against car insurance plans. Since car insurance policies do not cover anything beyond emergency medical treatment for the owner-driver of the car, personal accident covers have become a necessity for all.
How to File a Claim for a Personal Accident Cover?
Since personal accident insurance cover is a part of your car insurance policy, a claim for this cover can only be made by the policyholder or a dependent. Claimants can be a close relative, friend or family member if the policyholder is not in a position to file the claim themselves. As far as the death benefit is concerned, that can only be filed by the nominee listed in the personal accident cover. Given below are the steps you need to follow to file a claim against your personal accident insurance cover:
Inform the police about the accident and file an official report of the same. Obtain a copy of the police report since you will need it to file the claim.
Contact your insurance provider and tell them about the claim you need to file. The provider will let you know where to obtain the claim form for the same.
Since accidental claims are highly dependent on the proof of the “party at fault”, it is best if you acquire witness accounts for the accident. It will help in the speedy settlement of your personal accident insurance cover claim.
Fill out the claim form and attach all the important documents with it. You will need to submit the police report, witness accounts, photographs of the accident (if any), details of the people involved, your driving license (or license of the driver involved), the registration documents of the car and the policy documents.
Submit the form via offline or online methods as per the availability of options with your provider.
In a Nutshell
As evident, personal accident covers are not just an optional cover you can take. They are much more important than that. Since driving is always entwined with the risk of being in an accident, personal accident covers have become a necessity, even more so for your employees and passengers. Since drivers, you or the third party, are at fault for causing accidents, innocent passengers must get a protective backup for treating injuries that are completely someone else’s fault. Make sure you choose the best personal accident policy as per your current needs, whether it is owner-driver, paid driver, passenger or group personal accident insurance cover.