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What Is Accident Insurance?

People consulting with an attorney after a car accident.
Car insurance is purchased by most drivers to protect themselves and others in the event of an accident.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2014
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Accident insurance is a form of insurance policy which offers a payout when people experience injury or death due to an accident. This type of insurance does not usually cover negligence, acts of God, or natural disasters, and the policy may include restrictions such as caps on total payouts or restrictions on payouts for activities deemed risky. Many insurance companies sell accident insurance, which can be purchased as a standalone policy or bundled in to an existing insurance policy.

Like other forms of insurance, buying accident insurance is, in a sense, a bet. The consumer pays the insurance company a premium hoping that an accident will not occur, and the insurance company writes a policy hoping that it will not have to pay out. This type of policy can be a good idea for people who lack health care coverage, ensuring that they will be able to access medical treatment after an accident, or for people with families who suspect that their family members could suffer financially if they died. By purchasing insurance for accidents, people can provide themselves with more financial security.

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Accident insurance policies have payouts which vary, depending on the severity of the injuries. Some include very specific language about amounts which will be paid out in the event of losing particular extremities, for example. The payout is designed to cover medical care along with pain and suffering, and if an accident causes permanent disability, the payment may be structured to provide funds for the accident victim to live on. In the event of a death, the benefits are paid out to the listed beneficiary on the policy.

When shopping for accident insurance, people should ask about premiums and what types of accidents and events are covered. Some insurance companies cover more than others, and some are notorious for viewing all claims with deep suspicion, delaying payments until they are satisfied that a customer really does meet the terms for a payout. For people who need money to deal with immediate expenses, this can be a problem.

One of the most common types of accident insurance is car accident insurance which is purchased by most drivers to protect themselves and others in the event of an accident. Other examples include travel accident insurance policies which people can purchase before traveling, and insurance which is customized for people who work in particular industries. Such insurance can be costly, reflecting the increased risks to the insurance company; a telephone lineman, for example, will be more expensive to insure than a desk worker.

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anon282386
Post 7

Well, I wasn't so lucky. My husband had just had a motorcycle accident, broke his hand and lost all three of his jobs. Two weeks later, an insurance man came to see us. He got our name from a run we go on for fallen brothers and sisters who have passed. Anyway, he explained to us about the accident insurance, that it would pay us $100 a day for five days on a 40 hour work week if we were to have an accident, pay us $50 for the ER room per day and it would pay daily until we went back to work. He said it was to help us while we were down and out of work,

Three months later, I wrecked my motorcycle, still out of it from the accident, and all they paid me was $200 for the ER room. They said that's all they owe. Even through they drafted our bank account for two life insurance policies and accident policies, they refuse to help.

I canceled the policies because I was so upset they weren't helping us (that's the only reason we got it after all) and they ended up drafting my account again the following month. I finally received that back, because my bank was going to go after them. So someone please explain why they left us with no help. --sky-n-sa

julies
Post 6

In addition to our auto accident insurance, my husband and I both have a general accident insurance policy.

Both of us have motorcycles and this puts us at a greater risk for an accident than a lot of people. The accident insurance is above and beyond what the health insurance would pay.

You don't have to meet any kind of deductible but just submit your claims if you are involved in any kind of accident.

There is also a travel policy that is included in this plan. If either of us were injured in any kind of accident while on an airplane or traveling anywhere, it would also cover that.

While health insurance would cover a bulk of any bills, we would still be responsible for 20% of the cost. We feel like the additional accident insurance policy would cover what the health insurance policy doesn't pay.

andee
Post 5

@Mykol - That is encouraging to know you didn't have any trouble with your accident insurance claim. I had a friend who bought an accident insurance policy online and he had a very hard time getting paid for a claim.

Even though he had all of the proper documentation submitted with his claim, they didn't want to pay it.

Anytime you buy an insurance policy, it is important to do your research and make sure you are buying from a stable, reputable company.

Sometimes you never know how they can be until it comes time to file a claim. Nobody ever knows when an accident will happen, and it would be frustrating to think you are covered and then have to fight to get reimbursed.

Mykol
Post 4

Accident insurance was something I never considered until my son began selling insurance. I was trying to help him out and bought a life and accident insurance policy from him.

The accident policy is very inexpensive and costs me less than $5.00 a month. I have only had to use it one time, but I never had any troubles getting my claim paid.

I was stung by a bee and ended up having a severe reaction. I spent the day in the emergency room. My accident policy reimbursed me $100 for my emergency room visit.

This was beyond what was covered by my health insurance policy. I think this is a small investment to pay because you never know when an accident is going to happen.

Fortunately mine was not that serious, but my policy will reimburse up to $200 a day if I have to be admitted to the hospital because of an accident.

SarahSon
Post 3

@MissDaphne - I think one of the biggest reasons people purchase accident insurance is when they can't afford a health insurance policy.

I have a cousin who is self employed and builds log homes. Buying health insurance for himself and his family is too expensive, but he does have accident insurance on himself.

With his type of work, he is more at risk than someone who has an office job. If he became injured, he would not be able to bring in any income.

With his accident policy, he doesn't have to be injured on the job for the policy to cover it. Even if he were to be in accident that was completely unrelated to work, they would still pay.

A few years ago he did hurt his back on the job and was off for several months. If it hadn't been for his accident policy, I don't know how they would have paid their bills.

ElizaBennett
Post 2

@MissDaphne - I used to be a fan of that show, too!

I'm no expert on insurance, but I can actually think of a lot of reasons why you might want accident insurance. Your health insurance might not cover participation in certain dangerous activities, for instance, so you might need a special accident policy to cover those.

Or you might be out of work and not able to afford comprehensive health insurance, so you might get an accident and injury insurance policy to guard against those and just stay out of the doctor's office otherwise!

MissDaphne
Post 1

I've heard of accidental death insurance as an option for people who might not qualify for life insurance because of their health status. Actually, the place I heard of that was on the TV show The West Wing - the president didn't want anybody to know he had multiple sclerosis, so he had accidental death insurance instead of life insurance!

But what would be other reasons why you would have it (except for car insurance)? Don't most people need to have health insurance, which would cover both illness *and* injury?

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