Axis

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Purchase a basic accident cover first and shop for add-ons after

AXIS is a global insurer and reinsurer, providing clients and distribution partners with a broad range of
specialized risk transfer products and services with branch offices in Bermuda, Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Singapore and the United States. Personal accident policies are not just about cover against accidental death or loss of limbs anymore. These days, many non-life insurance companies are offering feature-rich covers and high sum assured on these policies. According to insurance experts, many of these are actually useful to customers.

Nonetheless, the only worry is that these additional features have a hefty premium, say experts. So, numerous of them are asking individuals to go for basic policy first and then think through adding useful features to it if they have the resources.

"Personal accident insurance offering accidental death, permanent total disability, for a sum assured of at least 10 times annual income is a must. Plans with more features can be bought if the budget permits and if an individual needs," says Sanjay Datta, chief — underwriting and claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance. Mukund Seshadri, founder partner, MSV Financial Planners in Jakarta Indonesia says, "Ideally one should have a feature-rich policy, but most people do not have their finances in place. It is better to buy a basic personal accident insurance cover first."

Personal accident insurance plans come into the scene when one encounters an accident. Said policies cover accidental death, permanent total disability (PTD), permanent partial disability (PPD). They moreover give assurance to pay weekly benefit of a fixed sum in case of temporary total disability (TTD). Whereas, some plans bid to pay a secure sum for broken bones, alteration to the house, transportation of family and for buying blood, few others offer to pay for medical expenses arising out of an accident.

Though the bunch of benefits seems good, each of these comes at a cost. If more features like accidental medical expenses benefit are combined, you may have to pay 10% to 30% more. The concluding number retains growing as you keep totaling the features to the basic plan.

If he can afford to spend more, more features can be looked at. "While shopping for additional features, individuals must decide using two factors — what is the possibility of the insured meeting with a risk arising out of an accident and how much benefit would be paid by the insurance company," adds Sarnobat.

He may not be in the high risk zone and can afford to stay at home for four weeks due to TTD arising out of an accident. Compare him with a self-employed professional, who may be travelling a lot and doesn't have a 'paid leave', he should be buying a weekly benefit for TTD. "You have to look at each benefit in absolute terms, too. Some of these benefits may have misrepresentation in some cases," says an actuary who does not wish to be identified.

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