This article first appeared on fundMyLife, the platform that connects financial planning questions to the right advisers.
A personal accident plan is a plan that pays out when you are injured, resulting in either death or permanent/temporary disabilities. While it is seemingly simple, there are many considerations to keep in mind when deciding what plans to purchase. As such, there are plenty of questions on personal accident plans.
Where better to hear about these questions and get answers, other than asking financial adviser themselves? We ask the financial advisers of fundMyLife on what they are often asked when it comes to this plan. In this article, Roshan Belani from AIA, Winifred Tan, and Melvin Liu from Manulife share their thoughts on common questions on personal accident plans and their perspectives.
Roshan Belani, AIA
Before I share the most common questions on personal accident plans that clients ask me, I would like to share a personal accident claims story of my own. I was in a team bonding trip in Desaru with my colleagues, and in one of the games I fell. The fall did not hurt me, but two colleagues landing on my foot did. A colleague sent me back to Singapore, where I sought treatment in Mount Elizabeth hospital.
I suffered a hairline fracture in my 4th metatarsal but I did not stay in a ward since I did not need to undergo surgery. In total, I paid around $3,000 for:
1. MRI scans
2. X-ray imaging
3. Digital imaging
4. Follow-up treatment
The Great Eastern Personal Accident Plan helped in defraying the treatment costs. I was out of action for 2-3 months, during which I had to was fortunate enough to have my colleagues’ help with my clients. In retrospect, I would have gotten a plan that provided a weekly payout during the period when I was unable to work. A plan with a weekly payout as a result of lost income would have helped with lifestyle maintenance.
“Is my accident plan on an annual basis or per accident basis?”
This is a question that clients often ask, that whether the accident plan they purchase is on an annual basis or per accident basis. The Great Eastern plan I was on when I was injured in the team bonding exercise had a $10,000/year cover. In contrast, the personal accident plan in AIA has a $4,000/accident cover. As such, the question might arise on which plan is better than the other.
Neither are better than the other – it just depends on your own injury patterns. Ideally, you should have both as these two forms of personal accident plans as these two kinds complement each other. A per-annual basis plan helps to cover what a per-accident basis plan cannot. After all, personal accident plans are generally affordable and are designed to not hurt your budget. However, if you have to choose between either, you have to decide whether you’re clumsy or accident-prone. It would be more beneficial if you anticipate frequent injuries.
“What’s the coverage like?”
Most people have the impression that personal accident plans are for serious things like car crashes or loss of certain body parts, etc. However, it also covers for temporary injuries like sprains and cuts.
“Does it cover medical expenses?”
Yes, I know that some policies under Great Eastern even cover Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and chiropractor visits.
“Does it cover dengue and zika?”
I know that in Great Eastern’s case, yes.
“What kind of accidents are considered accidents?”
Anything that is external, violent, and visible means and are not self-inflicted.
“What are the common exclusions?”
Personal accident plans typically exclude jobs such as sports coaching, military, professional motorcycling. Why? It’s because they take on higher risks! Accident plans are not to be take for granted. It requires you to take precautions as well before going ahead with dangerous activities.
“How long does it take to claim?”
2-3 weeks, if everything – documents in general – is furnished in order for claims.
“What is the claim period from the date of accident?”
Within 90 days after the accident, and normally we allow follow-up claims up to 365 days form the accident.
Melvin Liu, Manulife
“Is personal accident plan the same as life insurance, etc?”
There are two groups of people when it comes to personal accident plans. The first are people who know what they want and why they are getting this plan. The second group of people are relatively more clueless, and confuse personal accident plans with other plans. Personal accident plans are useful because they complement other insurance plans for out-patient treatment and consultation.
“Is it useful to renew the personal accident plan?”
People ask this because they need to renew the plan annually even though they did not claim anything. I would encourage them to do so, since the premiums are affordable and it is truly useful when they need to claim for something. Even I myself have a personal accident plan for my own daughter.
I notice that consumers often do not have questions about personal accident plans, and are receptive to whatever I share with them.
Roshan first recounted a story on how he got hurt, and how his personal accident plan helped. He also discussed the differences between plans that have an annual limit, and plans that have a limit per accident. Winifred shared common questions on personal accident plans that she encountered with consumers, and provided useful clarification for each of those questions. Finally, Melvin mentioned a common misconception that consumers often have – mistaking personal accident plans with other plans – and encouraged yearly renewal of the plan due to benefits.
For freelancers, consider getting a personal accident plan as it will immensely help you when you injure yourself.
If you have a corporate group personal accident plan, read the fine print and see if you have adequate coverage.
If you’ve more questions on personal accident plans or any other insurance plans, head on to our main site and ask our curated pool of financial advisers! Alternatively, if you’d like to connect with either Roshan Belani from AIA, Winifred Tan, or Melvin Liu from Manulife, just click on the link in their names and you can ask them questions directly from their profile pages.
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