Personal accident cover

Accidents happen and when they happen behind the wheel, the outcome can be unpredictable. For most of us, little mishaps on the road will result in little more than a dented bumper, broken wing-mirror and perhaps hurt pride. But sometimes the outcome can be more serious – so what happens then?

Not being able to work after a car accident could lead to financial trouble but having personal accident insurance can take away some of the stress and worry by providing financial compensation.

What is personal accident cover?

Personal accident cover is usually included in comprehensive car insurance. Where it is not included the additional cover can be bought as an optional extra as part of your car insurance policy. It provides compensation to the policyholder or their partner if either are injured or killed as a result of a car accident.

Personal accident as part of a comprehensive cover doesn’t usually compensate for minor sprains and breaks. Generally speaking, payments are for ‘loss of' or 'loss of use of’ a part of your body and the payment amount depends on the type of injury sustained Insurance providers offer different levels of personal accident cover, some will cover multiple injuries, whilst others have larger amounts for single injuries. One thing all policies have in common though, is that they’ll only pay up to a certain amount.

What should I look for when taking out personal accident cover?

Personal accident cover can also be bought as a standalone cover which could offer wider cover with higher benefits. Before taking out personal accident cover, here are some points worth thinking about:

  • Who will the policy cover – they can be just for an individual, a couple or for the whole family
  • Location – will the policy cover accidents in just the UK or will the insurance provider compensate for accidents that happen abroad as well?
  • Circumstances – is the policyholder covered for accidents that occur whilst waiting for help to come and does it include accidents that happen on public transport too?

What can invalidate personal accident cover?

There are some situations that could invalidate personal accident cover and if this is the case, then the insurance provider does not have to pay out any compensation. These circumstances might include:

  • Drink driving
  • Driving without a valid licence
  • If the injured person wasn’t wearing a seat belt
  • If the accident occurs whilst taking part in activities such as rallies, racing or speed tests
  • If injuries are sustained because of deliberate attempts to self-harm

Do I already have personal accident cover?

If someone already has several insurance policies stashed under their belts, it’s worth double checking them, just to see if personal accident cover is included. In addition to car insurance, it’s common for home or travel insurance to include some personal accident cover or offer it as an add-on.

If it’s an optional extra that’s been included in a different policy, think about whether that cover only applies to a specific situation, such as travel insurance which only provides protection whilst on holiday.

Add-ons can be also restrictive as to who is covered. Some policies may only cover the policyholder and their partner, and it might not be as comprehensive as a standalone one. So, it’s important to think about whether existing policies are adequate and if not, then perhaps a separate plan would offer better protection.

How much is personal accident cover?

Premiums depend on the level of cover chosen so ultimately, it’s up to the policyholder to decide what’s important and how much they’re willing to cough up.

It’s all too easy to think that accidents only happen to other people, but accidents have a nasty habit of catching you unawares. Which is why, when you comparethemarket.com for your car insurance, it’s imperative to think of the bigger picture and consider all eventualities – no matter how uncomfortable. Our easy to read tables mean that you can find all the elements that are important – such as personal accident cover. So, don’t let circumstance get the better of you – be prepared and start comparing.

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