Having personal accident insurance doesn’t mean you can indulge in risky behaviour, especially when your claims can be voided under these circumstances.
Most Singaporeans have some form of a personal accident insurance policy (or are thinking of taking up one), as part of their move to bolster their financial portfolios. Unfortunately, some Singaporeans take it for granted – they indulge in reckless behaviour as they assume any consequences will be handled by this ‘safety net’.
Be aware that, under some circumstances, your claim can be rejected.
1. Participating in a legal (or not) car race
Even if you bring your vehicle to a proper race track, note that most personal accident policies won’t cover you while you’re racing.
Under the exclusions (see the terms and conditions of your policy), most insurers don’t cover activities involving a race, or even ‘speed and efficiency trials’. Note that there doesn’t have to be anyone else involved in the race; if you are trying to set a record by drift racing around a track, for example, any resulting injuries are at your own expense.
This covers most forms of vehicles, from cars to motorcycles to vans.
If you’re interested in legal racing activities, inform your financial adviser. There may be alternative or specialised insurance policies, which can cater to motorsports. However, never assume your personal accident policy has it all covered.
2. Injuries occurred under the influence
Most Singaporeans know that drunk driving accidents aren’t covered by personal accident policies. But did you know that all accidents arising from intoxication aren’t covered?
Say you’ve vacuumed an entire bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, and you trip and fall while going down the stairs. Now, this may or may not have been caused by the alcohol; perhaps you can hold your liquor, and you were tripped up by something on the staircase. Nonetheless, your insurer can claim you were drinking before, which resulted in your accident.
Unless you can somehow prove that you getting roaring drunk had nothing to do with it (a tough proposition), your claim can be rejected.
3. Contracting HIV
Getting HIV or AIDS is considered avoidable by most insurers; and if you check the terms of your personal accident policy, there’s almost always an exclusion clause for this. (The exception is occupational causes, which is meant to protect medical workers and caregivers.)
Although medical advances mean the condition is no longer a death sentence, it is still an affliction with serious health and social consequences. As such, it’s highly preferable to stay protected and healthy. Also, know that there’s no insurance payout to deal with the financial consequences. At the very least, you’ll have to pay for a regular drug regime, which can take a serious toll on your finances over time.
4. Travelling to countries under the advisory list
When travelling, always check two things: the list of countries excluded under your personal accident policy, and the countries on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or any specified authority advisory list.
Travelling to these countries is a form of voluntary self-endangerment, so you won’t get payouts if you’re injured. This is especially important for volunteer workers or social workers: even if you’re on a humanitarian mission, such as building houses in flooded areas, you may have to do so without personal accident coverage (if the country you are travelling to is in the advisory or excluded list).
If you must travel to any such excluded countries for any reason, speak to us or a trusted adviser – there may be ways to extend the policy coverage, or get insured with specialised travel policies that can support your needs.
5. Subsequent medical costs not related to the accident
Say you’re in a car accident, and you’re rushed to the hospital for surgery. During the surgery, something goes wrong and you develop an infection.
Your personal accident policy will cover car accident injuries and its costs. However, you can’t make claims for any costs arising from the infection. That’s because the infection was due to the surgery, not to the initial accident.
Likewise, note that the side-effects of medication are also not covered. If you get into an accident and break your arm, and then discover you’re allergic to the aspirin the hospital administers, that (the allergic reaction and its cost) is not claimable under Personal Accident – only the costs of the original accident can be claimed.
If need be, speak to us or a qualified financial adviser to fill in the gaps in your protection.
Feel free to reach out to SingSaver Insurance Brokers Pte. Ltd. at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 31382648 if you have any enquiries on coverage related to COVID-19!
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By Ryan Ong
Ryan has been writing about finance for the last 10 years. He also has his fingers in a lot of other pies, having written for publications such as Men’s Health, Her World, Esquire, and Yahoo! Finance.