Club mediclaim with accident insurance for total coverage

When we talk about insurance, we normally associate it with life insurance. It has captured a huge mindshare due to the saturation coverage that the media has given it. Of late, a lot of newsprint has also been devoted towards medical insurance policies – normally referred to as ‘mediclaim’.

There is little discussion, if at all, about an accident insurance. After all, in case of an accident, can life insurance not take care of it? Well, it will, if there is death due to an accident. If the person survives, and is disabled due to the accident, he would have to continue paying premiums for the life insurance policies, even though his earning ability may be impaired.

This is where a medical insurance policy comes in handy. It covers accidental death, partial disability and total disability. What constitutes a partial or total disability is defined in the policy itself. Apart from these, total temporary disability (TTD) is also covered, where a weekly benefit is made available to compensate for the loss of income. Typically, a separate sum assured (SA) is assigned for this purpose, and 1 per cent of the SA would be the weekly benefit (this can change from policy to policy). For instance, if a person is unable to work for six months due to multiple fractures and has taken an SA of Rs 15,00,000 for TTD, he will get Rs 15,000 per week, for six months.

TTD coverage is a kind of income protection and is not covered under life insurance. An accident policy with this clause can prove to be invaluable.

Medical expenses incurred due to the accident are covered by the accident policy. This could be very helpful because the normal medical policy may have a lower SA, and an accident policy typically would have a higher SA. In an accident, it is quite possible that costly multiple surgeries and treatments will have to be undergone. This will protect the family from the huge medical costs that may be incurred due to an accident.

Generally, riders in term insurance policies are not as comprehensive in their coverage, and offer cover just for accidental death, permanent total disability and permanent partial disability. Hence, it is generally recommended that one looks at standalone accident policies as opposed to riders, which are rather limited in scope.

Ambulance expenses incurred for transferring a person to a hospital is part of the cover. Such accident policies also provide for an education fund in the event of accidental death or permanent total disablement (PTD), for up to two children, provided the children are pursuing full-time education courses, when the event occurred.

Transportation of mortal remains from the place of accident or hospital, to the residence or to the cremation or burial grounds, is a part of an accident policy.

Modifications required to be carried out in one’s residence post-accident or in one’s vehicle, will be covered. Some policies also cover what is referred to as broken bones. In case of a fracture due to the accident, a certain sum as outlined in the policy would be paid as a compensation.

So, it is evident that there are quite a few benefits of an accident insurance policy. Taking into account the fact that the premium payment would be in the ballpark of Rs 7,000 per year for Rs 50,00,000 coverage, along with a TTD coverage of Rs 10,00,000 to Rs 15,00,000, it is not costly either. It is a good cover to have in one’s portfolio to protect oneself and one’s family should the policyholder has an accident.

By Suresh Sadagopan


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