Accidents are unforeseen or unexpected events which have undesirable consequences and can be caused by violent, external and visible means.
BY Caroline Nezillyn Apton
In Zimbabwe 5 people are killed every day as a result of Road Traffic Accidents, thousands more are involved in road accidents and other accidents that result in total or partial disability. Accidents are difficult to avoid, but you can certainly protect against the consequences of being in an accident.
Insurers undertake to compensate the insured person for bodily injury, a permanent total disability such as loss of eyesight or loss of ability to use the hands and feet, a partial permanent disability like loss of hearing ability or temporary partial disabilities like fracture and death due to an accident.
This type of cover is known as Personal Accident Cover and also takes care of the cost of education of the dependent children in case of death of the insured.
Before deciding to take up a Personal Accident plan, one needs to consider the following important factors:
Insurer: When selecting the insurer who is going to provide the personal accident cover, there are quite a number of factors that needs to be considered such as the reputation, financial capacity, quality of services rendered, investment performances as well as their track record in claim settlements. Global Ratings such as the Global Credit Rating can help you identify the Insurers rated high in claims paying ability. The Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) can also help you to identify the registered and licensed insurers. Above all one must choose an insurer that has an impeccable track record.
Premium: This is the price of insurance. The amount is to be paid regularly to the insurance provider to maintain the validity of the policy and in turn the coverage. The amount to be paid as premium depends upon the nature and scope of the coverage. The premium should reflect the coverage and it must also be reasonable and affordable and within your budget.
Policy coverage: It is always important to ask yourself, “am l getting an adequate cover that includes all the risks that am exposed to?” The policy coverage should be such that it virtually encompasses all the daily activities which may lead to accidents at home or at the work place. The wide net the coverage cast the better off the insured would be.
Benefits: These should differentiate a person with a cover to that without the insurance protection. A personal accident insurance must cover benefits for Accidental Death, Temporary Disability, Permanent Disability due to an accident. Moreover, it must also provide for Ambulance cost and Hospital cash. Opting for a wider cover is always advisable as it will cover one against death, disabilities and other medical expenses.
Benefits to the family should also play a key role in the decision-making process. The amount to be received by the dependants in case of a personal accident that may lead to death or permanent disability. The higher the compensation benefit to the family, the better off they will be and the more attractive the policy becomes.
Make sure that the benefits are clearly outlined in the policy schedule or cover document so that you may be able to know what to claim in the event of an accident.
Exclusions: The policy comes with certain events that are not covered. One must pay careful attention to such events that may be excluded from coverage such as self-injury, territorial and age limits. If the excluded event is likely to occur due to occupational accidents, it is advisable for one not to opt for such a personal accident insurance policy.
Claims processing procedure: It is of essential importance to know the claim process in the event of an accident. The documents that should be submitted to the insurer such as the claim form, medical certificates like disability certificates, the claims processing time etc. Usually an insurer must be intimated about an accident from the day of the accident.
*Secure yourself and your family from a financial blow by taking a Personal Accident insurance plan today!!!!
Caroline Nezillyn Apton is a Fourth Year student at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and is studying a Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Risk Management and Insurance.