How Personal Accident Plans In Singapore Work

How Personal Accident Plans Work

This article first appeared on DollarsAndSense.sg

When compared to other insurance types such as life and critical illness policies, personal accident plans are generally less well understood by consumers.

In this article, we will explain what exactly personal accident plans are, and how they help give us added protection in our lives.

What Are Personal Accident Plans?

Simply put, personal accident plans are a type of general insurance that provides policyholders with financial support in the event of an unfortunate accident occurring. Payouts are either in the form of a reimbursement basis, based on medical expenses incurred, or a lump-sum payout, depending on the type of injuries sustained.

For example, in the event of a permeant loss of a limp due to an accident, a personal accident plan will provide the policyholder with a lump-sum payout.

Beyond permeant injuries sustained, medical expenses are also covered under most personal accident plans on a reimbursement basis. The total amount that is claimable depends on the coverage limit. Expenses that can be claimed from include surgical, hospital or even Chinese physician expenses.

It’s important to note that personal accident plans differ from life and health insurance as coverage provided is only meant for injuries and treatments which arises due to an accident. This is in contrast to life and health insurance, which provides coverage regardless of the circumstances which lead to death, illness or injuries, be it accidental or natural.

This is why personal accident plans are usually regarded as a useful complement to other existing insurance policies that a person may already have, and not a substitute.

Coverage Provided By Personal Accident Plans

In general, here are the types of coverage that you can get from a personal accident plan.

# 1 Death Benefit

This refers to accidental death, and not natural death.

# 2 Permanent & Partial Disability

Similar to death benefit, this is payable if caused by an accident.

# 3 Income Benefit

This is payable if the policyholder is 1) gainfully employed at the time of the injury and 2) unable to work due to the injury. Benefit are usually paid on a weekly basis.

# 4 Medical Expenses

Most personal accident plans will cover medical expenses incurred up to a certain limit.

# 5 Daily Hospital Benefit

This is payable if you are hospitalized due to the accident. Unlike income benefit, you do not need to be employed to receive this.

Do note that the coverage highlighted above may not be applicable for all personal accident plans. It’s also a non-exhaustive list and that there might be other coverage provided by your personal accident plans beyond what is listed. If you are intending to buy a personal accident plan, we suggest that you look through in details the areas that are covered.

Why Consider A Personal Accident Plan?

Not all consumers may see a personal accident plan as being essential. Some consumers may already enjoy coverage from their company’s group insurance plan. Some occupations and lifestyle would also require a higher degree of coverage as they are generally deemed as riskier.

This article from fundMyLife helps explain 5 things you should consider before buying a personal accident plan.

Even if you think you are adequately insured, there are still merits to getting a personal accident plan if you wish to enjoy a higher level of insurance protection.

For a start, even with a hospitalization plan, your medical expenses may not be fully covered. A minor accident which does not leave you hospitalised may still require x-rays and MRI scans and other follow-up treatments. A personal accident plan helps you defray some of the out-of-pocket expenses arising from these treatments.

For individuals who are self-employed, buying a personal accident plan can help provide them with additional protection on top of their existing private integrated shield plan. That’s because most personal accident plans provide policyholders with added coverage such as a weekly payout, up to a certain cap, if a policyholder is unable to work due to a temporary injury sustained from an accident.

If you are unsure about whether a personal accident plan is something that you truly need, and would like to seek the opinion and advice of a trusted financial advisor, DollarsAndSense have team up with fundMyLife to help get your financial planning questions answered. fundMyLife is a platform that connects users financial planning questions to the right advisers using an intelligent matching system.

DollarsAndSense.sg is a personal finance website that aim to help Singaporeans make better financial decision.

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

When Shit Happens: A Collection of Personal Accident Stories Part II

Personal accident stories part II

The world can be a scary place, as illustrated by our article on personal accidents stories. After sharing that article, members of the Facebook group Insurance Discussion SG chimed in to share both their own and/or their clients’ experiences with personal accident. We thought it’d be a good opportunity to compile another set to inform and educate readers out there. As such, in this article fundMyLife presents the second set of personal accident stories shared  in the Facebook group (without any personal details of course), with an additional educational twist.

Personal accident stories, part II

 #1 Motorcycling accident

One commenter recounted how he encouraged his client to purchase a personal accident plan since he commuted daily using a motorcycle. Soon after, the client experienced an accident. While the client was okay, he subsequently went for TCM treatment. Fortunately, his personal accident plan covered the TCM treatment.

While this story seems very common, it highlights two important things. Firstly, it’s important to get personal accident coverage when commuting using vehicles with relatively higher risks of injury. Secondly, timing is important, especially if the activity is done frequently, i.e. daily riding.

#2 Fowl play

One of the commenters shared was about she cracked her teeth biting into boneless chicken rice, or what was she thought. While dental claims are usually limited to incidences like car accident, she successfully claimed the full amount for the dental treatment…since it’s an accident.

What to do when eating boneless foods

We don’t think there’s much to caution when consuming boneless food, except to do an exploratory nibble before going for a chomp. Fun fact: if you’re feeling paranoid, there is such a thing as dental accident insurance. Not only does it cover accidents, it also covers routine preventive work such as scaling and polishing to encourage dental care. General insurance companies like Chubb and MSIG offer them.

#3 Canine trouble

In two separate but similar accounts, two members of the group recounted how their clients experienced injuries due to dog bites. One incident involved a client experience a bite from a dog which just recently given birth. Another incident involved a house visit to someone with a dog – the owners assured the person that the dog was harmless, which did not turn out to be the case when the person was bitten soon after.

What to do when encountering dogs that might bite

Angry dog
This is the look of a dog that might bite you – drooped ears and bared teeth.

While dogs are friendly, it is nonetheless important to be careful and recognize the warning signs. Firstly, avoid prolonged eye contact. You’re scared, but you cannot make eye contact because the dog will lunge at you. After removing eye contact, slowly move away and pretend to ignore the dog. After you’re a safe distance away from the dog, walk away real fast. Good luck.

#4 Raw meal to real deal

From the book of the same name, the author shared what happened after her husband of 20 years lost his hearing after consuming raw fish contaminated with Group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria. She successfully claimed against his company’s group personal accident plan and the family’s own personal accident plan, after much difficulty. On a related note, another individual affected by the GBS incident lost all of his four limbs.

What to do if you love raw fish

After the GBS incident, the Ministry of Health placed a ban on all raw fish sales from open stalls. You can still eat them from restaurants as restaurants generally follow strict hygiene rules for food preparation and kitchen cleanliness.

#5 Nailing it

Inspired by video games of the same genre, escape room games are games where you solve puzzles and riddles present in a room in order to escape it under a time limit. It takes wit, teamwork, and creativity to escape the rooms, but it’s a lot of fun when you solve them.

One commenter recounted how he lost his pinky toe nail in one of those Escape Room games, where he had to climb into a coffin for clues. Unfortunately, in his climb his nail was left behind inside. Fortunately, after clarifying with the insurance company, his insurance covered all treatment expenses. Escape Rooms can be surprisingly physically demanding since the challenges require you to run around to solve puzzles. A cursory search on Google reveals that there are plenty of injuries that result from these games. Be careful when you go for one with your friends!

Conclusion

That’s all folks! Some stories were part horror (mostly horror), part humorous but they were all educational. fundMyLife would like to thank the folks from the Insurance Discussion Group for their personal accident stories. As always, we here at fundMyLife believe in educating consumers on the possible dangers out there, and what better to alleviate risks in daily life than personal accident plans. If you have any more questions on personal accident, why not ask our curated pool of trusted financial advisers?

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

When Shit Happens: A Collection of Personal Accident Stories

fundMyLife presents personal accident stories

[3 min read]

Personal accident plans are plans that help you and your loved ones when you experience disabilities or death, be it from your occupation or everyday life. While the probability of going through an accident is slim, it is nonetheless a very real possibility. How else to illustrate this possibility, but through stories? To do this, we scoured the internet for interesting personal accident stories. Besides anecdotes from blogs and financial websites such as MoneySmart and Clearly Surely, we also found several real life case by Straits Times Invest Editor Lorna Tan, and paraphrased these stories for brevity. In this article, fundMyLife takes a look at these stories and glean insights from these incidents.

Personal accident stories

#1 Road accident

A 55-year old man was involved in a road accident and sustained injuries to his shoulder, neck and back. He went through X-ray and outpatient treatment at a TCM clinic, which was fully reimbursed by his insurer Sompo.

#2 Child falling

A 5-year old child fell from the third storey of a staircase. He experienced wounds, and a brain trauma caused by fatal injury, succumbing to his wounds 10 days later.  The child was covered under a family plan, so the parents were paid $12,500 and $1,500 for death and medical expenses respectively by insurer Sompo.

#3 Motorcycle accident

A 36-year old man met a motorcycle accident, and fractured his right foot. His insurer Sompo paid out for his expenses, miscellaneous benefits, and a weekly income benefit for missing work for 7 weeks.

#4 Workplace mishap

A 53-year old man died at work, pinned by a heavy object and suffered multiple injuries. The AXA group personal accident policy by his workplace paid out a death benefit to his family members, burial expenses, and family security. In addition, because of no prior claims, his family also had increased benefit payout.

#5 Getting hurt during staycation

A 50-year old woman slipped and fell on a flight of stairs during a staycation in Sentosa. She cut herself and sprained her ankle. Her insurer Tokio Marine fully reimbursed her medical bills for out-patient treatment.

 

#6 Injuring self while changing light bulb

A 52-year old man lost his balance and fell while changing his kitchen’s lights. During his fall, his neck hit one of the kitchen’s chairs. The injury subsequently paralyzed him. The company’s personal accident plan for workers paid off a lump sum of $100,000 as he was permanently disabled.

#7 Slip and fall from cleaning

A 45-year old man was wiping his windows, when he slipped and fell. His head hit the floor, leading to a head injury which he succumbed to. As the man bought a personal accident policy which was featured with his home insurance, his family received a death benefit payout of $20,000.

#8 Accidental overdose of drugs

A 50-year old man was found unconscious, after consuming a large variety of drugs in high doses. The coroner ruled that the incident a suicide, which prevented the $1.2M insurance claim from AIA as there was a suicide exclusion. The High Court also ruled similarly in 2016. The family then escalated it to the Court of Appeal, and in 2017 the Court of Appeal found that the incident was indeed an accident and not suicide.

There was no evidence to suggest that the man was suicidal, and consumed the drugs with no expectation of injury. As such, this incident was classified as an accident – unforeseen and involuntary event that causes an injury.

Conclusion

In general, the stories do not seem to follow any pattern at all. However, the slip and fall accidents seem to affect those in their later years, i.e. 40s onwards. Besides practising good safety measure while doing household chores, it pays to consider getting a personal accident plan indeed.

You might be wondering what the point of this article is. “Scare tactics”, you might mumble under your breath. However, from these personal accident stories, the usefulness of personal accident plans cannot be denied. We thought by sharing some of these real life cases, you’d be more aware of how fragile we as humans can be. With low annual premiums, it might not be a bad idea to get personal accident insurance. In addition, it is also be a good idea to check your company’s policy to see if you’re adequately protect.

We here at fundMyLife believe in educating consumers on the possible dangers out there, and what better to alleviate risks in daily life than personal accident plans. If you have any more questions on personal accident, why not ask our curated pool of trusted financial advisers?

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

What To Do After A Personal Accident (In Increasing Order Of Severity)

fundMyLife explores what to do after a personal accident

At the risk of sounding cliched, accidents can happen any time in your life, be it big or small. It ranges from spraining an ankle while running in MacRitchie Reservoir, to being crushed by a heavy container at work. How does one cope with life after these accidents? That’s where personal accident plans come in – to assist with outpatient medical expenses, provide assistance during recuperation, and – if death is involved – a peace of mind to tide loved ones through. We have written quite a bit about these plans in the past, but not what comes after. In this article, fundMyLife talks about what to do after a personal accident – in order of severity of injuries.

#1 Not dead, and okay

Chances are, you’re injured but the injury is not so bad that you need to be warded. For example, the earlier example where you sprain your ankle running in MacRitchie Reservoir. In this case, you can claim your out-patient treatment. On top of that, your mobility aids like wheelchairs or crutches are covered.

What to do after a personal accident that doesn’t hurt you too badly? Go get some rest. You’ll heal up soon enough.

#2 Not dead, but temporarily disabled

Temporary disabilities leave your body intact, i.e. no limbs missing, but you are unable to function in your everyday job after the accident. That’s a relief. However, temporary disabilities come in two forms – total and partial. The difference between the two is the extent of your injuries that hinder your ability to carry out your work. As the terms suggest, the former is when you cannot carry out your tasks at all whereas the latter is when you can partially carry out your job.

In either case, the temporary disability feature of the personal accident plan kicks in and provides weekly cash payouts usually up to 104 weeks (that’s two years). Temporary disability benefits do not come as a lump sum. Note that you have to be employed in the first place to benefit from the weekly cash payouts, and that your temporary disability has to be longer than 7 days. With that, you can take your time to rest and recover. After recovery, you can get back to work as usual.

According to one of the advisers we interviewed, he regretted not taking a plan that had weekly payouts while he recuperated from an injury. He had to rely on his colleagues to get things done, until he recovered a few weeks later. However, he was grateful that his personal accident plan covered the outpatient treatment nonetheless.

#3 Not dead, but permanently disabled

Permanent total disabilities refer to conditions where you lose both of either limbs, lose your eyesight in both eyes, a combination of previous two, or loss of both hearing and speech. On the other hand, partial permanent disabilities are when you lose one of your limbs. The difference in the payout between the two types of permanent disabilities is huge, as the payout for partial permanent disabilities has a large variation.

It is useful to examine the compensation table by the insurance companies you get your plan from. For example, losing both eyes entitled you to full payout whereas losing only one eye will give you 50% of the sum insured.

As opposed to the weekly payout under temporary disability, permanent disability comes with a lump sum payment. This is where things become really serious. Depending on your disability, the world will be different for you now. All you have left is the sum of money to tide you through. What to do after a personal accident like this?

Coping with post-accident life really depends on the disability. If you lose eyesight in both eyes, you can no longer do computer work, for example. The next best course of action would be to attend courses that retrain you for gainful employment. Organizations like the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped offer courses for the visually handicapped to operate computers. On top of that, you will have to readjust your finances from not being able to do your previous job and/or lowered earning potential.

#4 Dead

This part is for the family member of the deceased. Now that a family member is deceased, what’s next? Hopefully, the loved one had a personal accident policy with death benefits. In addition, it is helpful to have a trusted financial adviser who can assist you with claims. For death claims, in general (don’t take our word for it – check the fine print from companies), you have to submit several documents to prove that there was a death and that you’re related to the deceased.

  1. Death claims form
  2. Death certificate
  3. Proof of relationship to deceased
  4. Copy of insurance policy

From our research, it usually takes 14 days for the company to get back to you regarding the status of the claims. After that, the claims officer will advise if there are any more documents required after processing.

Getting the money is the first of many parts, so what’s next? The lump sum of money will help in the short run, but ultimately you’ll need to figure your next move. Death of a loved one is tragic, and more so if he/she was the breadwinner.  While the lump sum may seem a lot, it is meant to cover monthly expenses and fixed monthly expenses like mortgage. That said, if you purchased mortgage insurance you can worry less about mortgage payments.

In general, your immediate aim is to settle any outstanding debts and managing a healthy cashflow for the family for the next few months. That means no unnecessary risks like investing that lump sum, especially products without liquidity (we’re looking at you, ILPs and endowments).

Conclusion

Regardless of whichever stage of injury you are in, personal accident plans come in handy to tide through difficult times. While we do not wish anyone to be in the fourth category, it is nonetheless wise to prepare yourself for the worst. In any case, we have come to the end of the article, and we hope that you now know what to do after a personal accident. If you’re still unsure about what you need, why not ask our curated pool of trusted financial advisers?

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

4 Specialized Personal Accident Plans You Might Not Heard About

fundMyLife examines specialized personal accident plans

Personal accident plans are plans that help you and your loved ones cope with accidents that result in either death or disabilities. They are commonly bought due the fact that they are immensely useful for outpatient treatment. In addition, this plan is useful for those who frequently embark on physical sports. However, sometimes you just want to have coverage for certain activities that have unique features. Since fundMyLife is all about sharing fun information, we thought to highlight interesting plans that we found. In this article, fundMyLife looks at some specialized personal accident plans that you might not have even heard of.

Yacht Insurance

For those who want to channel their inner Peter Lim and spend some time in the yacht, you might want to consider getting a yacht insurance for yourself and your guest. Depending on the plan, it also covers injuries that can arise from equipment in the yacht, like jetskis. Similar to normal personal accident plans, you can extend coverage to your family members, guests of the yacht, and for some cases the crew manning the yacht as well.

Golfer Insurance

Golf is an activity that is relatively low-risk. Other than golfer’s elbow, there is little physical harm that can happen. Even then, normal personal accident plans can cover some of the accidents that may occur on the green.

However, golfers are recommended to purchase golfer’s insurance. Why do golfers need to get this then? Turns out, golfer’s insurance covers not just yourself, but anyone who might be unlucky enough to be hit by your accidental swings.

Fun fact: the insurance even covers hole-in-one.

But wait a minute, why would there be insurance that covers something good that happened? Turns out that when someone scores a hole-in-one, he/she has to buy the entire clubhouse drinks (depending on the clubhouse rules). While it’s a joyous occasion, it is also an expensive affair. As such, the hole-in-one feature of the insurance helps to alleviate the cost of the celebration. Normal personal accident plans don’t have that.

Personal mobility device

For those who are not into yachts nor golf, how about a spiffy personal mobility device to get you around? Personal mobility devices are increasingly popular, but it can be hard to use them. If you’re on the sidewalks, you’d run the risk of running into pedestrians. It’s worst than cyclists on sidewalks since you’re faster and more dangerous. However, if you’re considerate and decide to be on roads instead, you run the risk of being run down by cars.

Similar to golfer’s insurance, this plan covers both the rider and liabilities to members of the public. It’s useful in case you run someone down with your personal mobility device, or damage someone’s property.

Kidnap and ransom

Speaking of personal mobility device, Grab made headlines again with their GrabCycle announcement. Anthony Tan of Grab, who makes multi-million dollar deals, is definitely worth millions now. It isn’t easy being such a public figure. Having a high networth exposes you to dangerous situations like…kidnap and ransom. Don’t worry, we’re not going to kidnap anyone.

However, those who travel or work in high risk countries like Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, Nigeria, etc. faces a real possibility of kidnapping. You know scenes in movies where victims of kidnapping lose their limbs or whatever in the process of getting ransom money? Kidnap and ransom plans cover those. On top of that, kidnap and ransom plans reimburse paid ransom money and cover things like medical care, disruption of operations, cost of replacing the kidnap victim and retraining, and several other costs incurred due to kidnapping incident.

As expected, this plan covers very important individuals and work with high impact. The company underwriting the kidnap and ransom plans will even hire crisis consultants just to negotiate the ransom money down. We couldn’t help but talk about kidnap and ransom insurance since it belongs to one of those really specialized insurance plans.

Conclusion

That’s all for now, folks. We hope you enjoyed this list of specialized personal accident plans as much as we did. If you ever find yourself doing for more unique activities, be sure to check these plans out.

Been doing lots of research, but not sure who to engage to take the final step? Look no further! fundMyLife connects you to credible and incredible financial advisers privately and anonymously, based on the financial planning questions that you ask. We aim to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

Personal Accident Plan: Should You Buy Standalone Or As A Rider?

fundMyLife examines the difference between personal accident plan and personal accident riders

Personal accident plans help you and your family in the case when you experience injuries, deaths, and disabilities. There are several factors to consider when buying a personal accident plans, which we briefly discussed in the past. You can buy personal accident plans in several ways. Firstly, you can buy them as a standalone plan. Personal accident riders, on the other hand, are complementary plans that you add onto your existing plans to enhance your plan coverage. The question is -should you buy standalone personal accident plans or personal accident riders to your other existing plans? In this article, fundMyLife lists various considerations to make when deciding which to buy.

Range of products

If you choose to buy standalone personal accident plans, there is a great variety out there.  Besides the mainstream life insurance companies you can buy from, e.g., Great Eastern, Prudential, AIA, you have the option of getting standalone plans from companies that you would not immediately think of. Specialized general insurance companies like MSIG, Chubb, AIG, and Etiqa come to mind. Banks also work with mainstream insurance companies, so the product offering is similar. For example, DBS with Manulife, UOB with Prudential, etc.

You’ll also have the choice of purchasing these plans online. Online-first companies like FWD allow you to purchase standalone personal accident plans from their website. On the other hand, riders are, well, riders and require you to have an existing main insurance plan to ride on. The implication is that the rider is limited to whichever main plan that you purchased.

Speed of claims

While buying standalone plans gives you a larger range of companies, it is also important to consider the speed of processing claims. How fast your claim processes makes a whole world of difference, bringing you peace of mind if it is fast and never-ending anxiety of it is slow.

Our research indicated that it takes generally a longer time to claim from general insurance companies than the mainstream ones. More specifically, it takes, on average, 14-21 days and 10 days for payouts for general insurance companies and mainstream insurance companies respectively. The reason for difference in speed might be due to having a personal financial adviser servicing your claims vs financial service representatives from companies.

It’s tangential, but an equally important consideration when you are deciding between standalone personal accident plans and personal accident riders.

Price

Rather than paying outright for a new plan, there is the option of adding riders onto your hospitalization or medical insurance. As such, riders are relatively cheaper since these are meant to complement the main plan you purchase. However, personal accident riders have lower claims payout and have more restrictions in general. You will have to check the fine print to see what you are and are not covered.

Flexibility and convenience

When you get a new personal accident plan, or any plan for that matter, you are usually subjected to medical underwriting. Don’t take our word for it – we used “usually” because it really depends on the insurance company.

Another consideration is flexibility. Riders will continue as long as you maintain your main policy. As such, if you choose to surrender your main policy, you will have to give up your rider benefits as well. It is like losing two things at one time. However, with a standalone plan, you keep things separate, allowing you more options in adjusting your portfolio.

Conclusion

After our discussion, the question is: which is better? At the risk of sounding like a cop-out, the answer is…it really depends. You have to consider your budget, lifestyle, and other existing plans that you have. While you can use calculators on comparison sites to figure out what you need, nothing beats good old-fashioned financial advisers. And we just happen to have a curated pool of credible and incredible advisers.

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

Here’s What You Need To Know About Personal Accidents During Travel

Personal accidents during travel

Exploring the world is a wonderful thing. New sights, new sounds…but also new dangers. You might experience injuries, or even worse, die. Touch wood, touch wood. However, that’s where your insurance plans come in to provide that peace of mind be it for yourself or your family. In this article, fundMyLife lists the things to know about personal accidents during travel and plans that cover them.

#1 Call your adviser when things get bad

When things go south, you should call your financial advisers to see what options you have, assuming you purchased a travel insurance/personal accident plan from him or her. If you bought travel insurance directly from the insurance company, there should be an international 24/7 hotline for you to call. The reason for that is to ascertain what you can and cannot do in an emergency. For example, some plans have emergency evacuation covers that you can claim if you ever need to be flown.

Getting into a personal accident during travel is stressful and understandably you want to seek treatment ASAP. However, knowing what claimable treatment options you have will mean a difference between a peace of mind or an unexpectedly expensive trip. Haven’t found a trustworthy financial adviser? We gotchu fam.

#2 Document, document, document

If you ever get into an accident overseas, don’t forget to document everything. As the number of fraudulent claims increase over the years, it is increasingly important to prove that your accident happened. From medical reports to pictures of the scene of accident, it makes sense to keep as much evidence as you can. While you might in distress and/or pain, it pays to take the extra effort and willpower to make sure you have black and white down. You wouldn’t want your case to be thrown out from a lack of documentation or proof.

#3 Evacuations

Evacuations occur when there are no medical facilities in your current location that can provide the required treatment. You will then be transported to the nearest place where you can seek treatment. The nature of evacuations differ depending on your location, and consequently cost differently as well. For example, if you’re stuck in the mountains, a helicopter will fly you out. However, take note that the doctor in charge decides whether you get evacuation, and requires the agreement of the insurance company. In addition to evacuation, there is also repatriation where you return home to receive treatment.

How much does it cost? Evacuations can be surprisingly expensive, as it requires accompanying doctors, nurses, medical equipment and supplies, etc. According to a harrowing account of a family whose father experienced a heart attack while holidaying in Japan, the bill amounted to $250,000. As such, make sure you have enough cover for emergency evacuations and repatriation. On another note, make sure you purchase plans that covers preexisting conditions if you have preexisting conditions. In the case of the father with heart attack, his travel insurance did not cover anything as he had a pre-existing heart condition.

#4 Exclusions

As with all plans, there are exclusions as well. Firstly, there are exclusions in several countries that have high risks of danger. If you experience personal accidents during travel in those regions, you will not get any payout. Those countries have relatively higher risks of war/terrorism, e.g., Afghanistan, Iran, etc.

That said, it does not mean that you’re in danger wherever you are in the country. After all, parts of these countries are inherently much safer than other parts. For example, you would visit Herat but not, say, Taliban-infested Kabul. However, you will have to purchase insurance that provides war and terrorism cover in those areas which mainstream insurance companies normally exclude.

Secondly, plans have exclusions for relatively dangerous activities which are mentioned in the fine print. For example, travel plans do not usually cover activities such as bungee jumping, hiking or trekking above 3500m above sea level,  diving deeper than 30m. If you intend to take part in such dangerous activities, it is important to buy insurance that specifically covers them.

Have a safe and fun trip!

Be careful during your travels! Safety should always come first. That said, it is always good to know the important details if personal accidents during travel ever happen nonetheless. If you want a reliable financial advisers to be there for you when you experience personal accidents during travel, head on to our main site and ask our credible and incredible pool of financial advisers!

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.

Ask fML Advisers: What Are The Most Common Questions On Personal Accident Plans?

fundMyLife FAs talk about common questions on personal accident plans

[5 min read]

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

Roshan from AIA
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
  5. Crutches

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.

Winifred Tan

Winifred Tan, Great Eastern
Winifred Tan

“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, even for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chiropractor for some policies under Great Eastern.

“Does it cover dengue and zika?”

Yes, for Great Eastern’s case.

“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

Melvin Liu's picture
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.

fundMyLife Summary

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.

In general, from our conversation with some of the advisers, we had an impression that consumers ask many questions on personal accident plans. In addition, they commented that consumers often reply on their company’s group accident plans and do not scrutinize the details unless they need to claim for something.

Actionables:

  1. For freelancers, consider getting a personal accident plan as it will immensely help you when you injure yourself.
  2. 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.

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions.

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5 Things to Consider Before Buying A Personal Accident Plan

Things to note before getting a personal accident plan

What is a personal accident plan?

As its name suggests, a personal accident plan helps immensely to cope with injuries, death, and disabilities – temporary or otherwise – that occur from accidents. Another advantage of personal accident plan is that it complements hospitalization plans. Sometimes, you get injuries bad enough to require treatment, but not bad enough to warrant hospitalization. If you’re not hospitalized, your hospitalization plan is not used. That’s where the personal accident plan comes in for the out-patient treatment and consultation.

Insurance companies define “accidents” as an unforeseeable event that causes injury immediately upon incidence, with violent motion and external means involved. Despite the standard definition of what an accident constitutes, personal accident plans come in variations, each containing unique features. As such, there are a few considerations to make when purchasing this particular plan. In this article, fundMyLife lists what you have to consider before getting them.

#1 Personal lifestyle

The lifestyle you lead affects the risk of you getting injured. For example, do you engage in sports? Chances are that you take part in some form of physical activity. And when the “physical” in physical activity gets too intense, you may end up injuring yourself. For example, a simple soccer game may end up a broken ankle of someone tackles you the wrong way. On the other end of the physical spectrum, we have non-contact sports like golf. Heck, even playing golf – one of the safest sports around – can also result in accidents such as getting hit by a golf club. If you lead a physically intense lifestyle, you might want to consider more coverage.

Important note: getting hit in the head during a game constitutes an accident, but suffering a golf elbow from prolonged swings does not qualify for a payout since it is not an accident that you got golf elbow.

#2 How you travel

Since it’s a point about travel, we decided to lump two (similar) things together:

  1. Overseas travel
  2. Mode of transport

If you’re going overseas, make sure you look through the fine print to see what you are and are not qualified for if you get into an accident overseas. If you also find yourself travelling often and/or for a long time, it is important to consider plans that have a cover period long enough for your travel duration. This is because some plans have a duration limit for overseas travel.

You should consider plans that suit your mode of transport in your daily travel. Motorcycles, cycling, and personal mobility devices are riskier than, say, driving a car or taking a public transport (train breakdowns notwithstanding). There are specific plans out there that cover riders and passengers.

#3 Who you are truly buying it for

While the ‘personal’ in personal accident plan implies that it’s just for yourself, as mentioned the plan helps with lost income during recovery. In the worst case scenario, where you die from the accident, the lump sum payment will tide your family over (assuming you’ve dependents). As such, it’s important to factor in the amount and current standard of living when deciding coverage amount.

Some plans also allow you to purchase family plans. If you have a family, you should consider getting a personal accident plan that can cover your children since children can get into accidents quite easily. There are personal accident plans that come with discounted premiums for your children.

#4 Type of occupation

Due to the nature of work and location, your occupation carries a certain level of risk. Even if you work in an office where everything is presumably safe, you still can get into an accident. However, not all occupations are the same. Insurance companies’ plans have their respective classifications, but these classifications follow very similar guidelines. In general, there are four categories of occupations:

  1. [Low risk] Persons in clerical and administrative jobs. Example: clerks, office staff, authors, doctors, teachers, students.
  2. [Medium risk] Persons in skilled or semi-skilled non-hazardous work and administrative work in an industrial setting. Also includes supervisory jobs of manual skilled work. Example: foreman, hairstylists, photographers, waitstaff, lab workers.
  3. [High risk] Persons engaged in jobs that requires heavy machines, manual labor, and/or exposure to hazard. Example: carpenter, technicians, mechanics, chefs.
  4. [Very high risk] Persons engaged in jobs with heavy manual labor and highly hazardous conditions. Example: firefighters, police, woodworkers, armed security staff.

Bear in mind that our list is not exhaustive, but it means to give you a rough idea of the occupational categories. As such, bear in mind that your occupation will affect your premiums. In general, the riskier the job the higher the premiums. Some plans even have exclusions for occupations in the fourth category.

Bonus fact: Personal accident plans do not cover repetitive motion injury due to, well, repetitive motion in the office. In addition, getting a bad back due to poor seating ergonomics is not covered either so get a good chair!

#5 Person servicing the personal accident plan

A good claims experience makes a huge difference. It is between feeling a hole in your pocket for a long time in uncertainty, or stepping out of the doctor’s office confident that you don’t have to worry about money. As such, it is important to find a good financial services representative who can handle your claims when the time comes (hopefully never). However, given how low the premiums are, sometimes insurance company representatives relationship managers, or even your own financial advisers can be quite unmotivated to service you if their heart is not in the right place.

Hence, it is crucial to find someone trust who has your back whenever and wherever you are. You should consider engaging someone from a pool of highly curated financial advisers.

Conclusion

That’s all folks. We hope the article helped in shedding light on factors to consider when buying a personal accident plan. It takes only one accident to burn a hole in your wallet so be prepared always!

Still confused? If you have any burning questions to ask about financial planning, head on to our main site and ask our credible and incredible pool of financial advisers!

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower Singaporeans to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions.

Follow us on our fundMyLife Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Alternatively, the Insurance Discussion SG Facebook group is a good place to discuss insurance-related topics with fellow Singaporeans.