With co-pays and deductibles increasing each year, you might face mounting medical bills after an accident even with health insurance. An accident can happen at any place, any time. Although you may have extra coverage if you’re injured in an auto accident, and your employer will be required to pay lost wages as well as medical bills if you’re injured at work, what happens if you tear your ACL while jogging? Who will pay your expenses if you fall from a ladder while cleaning your gutters? Your health insurance will cover the major medical costs, but it may not cover everything, leaving you with balances to pay at your doctor’s office, the hospital or the clinic where you received your X-rays – not to mention regular bills and missed wages from time off work. Ancillary accident insurance provides you with a lump sum payment if you are injured in an accident to cover those extra expenses that may not be in your budget.
What is Accident Insurance?
Accident insurance pays benefits that can be used for any purpose, not just for your medical bills. Payment is based on the type of injury as well as your needs during treatment and recovery. If you are injured in an accident that is covered by your major medical plan, then your ambulance trip, X-rays, hospitalization, surgery and rehabilitation may be covered by the plan. For everything else and anything that your medical insurance doesn’t cover, you can use the payment that you receive from your accident insurance policy. Money is paid directly to you, or you can designate it to be paid to a healthcare provider.
Types of Accidents Covered
Each policy provides a list of accidents that are covered by the plan. Some may exclude car accidents while others will provide payment for injuries after an automobile crash. Even common accidents, like falling off a ladder, tripping in your yard or losing your balance on a stairway may be covered by your accident policy. Most policies also cover sports injuries, although there may be restrictions. For example, some policies cover sports like baseball, soccer and football but exclude injuries that occur while snowboarding or skiing. High-risk activities like sky-diving and bungee jumping may also be excluded. It’s important to read your policy to determine what activities are covered and which ones are not, especially if you’re the adventurous sort.
Even if you are injured during a covered accident, there may be instances where your accident insurance does not have to pay benefits. In most cases, injuries that result from illness or are caused by recklessness are not covered. If you’re injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your accident insurance provider can deny your claim. The same goes for getting injured while committing a crime or during a suicide attempt. Only injuries that occur after the policy goes into effect are covered as well.
Financial advisors argue that building a savings account or using a flexible health spending account is more financially sound than purchasing accident insurance. However, if you have difficulty saving or are the only breadwinner in your household, accident insurance can offer you peace of mind knowing your bills can be paid if you are injured in an accident and cannot work.