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 Personal Accident policy, as part of their insurance. Unfortunately, some Singaporeans take it for granted – they indulge in reckless behaviour, because they assume any consequences will be handled by insurance.
Be aware that, under some circumstances, your claim can be rejected, such as:
Racing a Vehicle, Even on a Legal Race track
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; but never assume your Personal Accident policy has it covered.
Injuries that Occur While 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? For example:
Say you’ve drunk a bottle of wine, 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, and that it resulted in your accident.
Unless you can prove the alcohol had nothing to do with it (a tough proposition), your claim can be rejected.
Be careful when you’ve just had a drink; and don’t be under the impression that you can get roaring drunk in a Saturday night, and do silly things just because you’re insured.
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 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 be pricey.
Travelling to Countries Under the MFA 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) 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 to note: 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 you must travel to such countries for any reason, speak to an insurance agent – there may be ways to extend the policy coverage, or specialised travel policies that you can buy.
Any Events Arising From Your 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 the car accident 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 gives you, that’s not claimable under Personal Accident – only the costs of the original accident can be claimed.
This is why you need comprehensive health insurance, and you can’t just rely on Personal Accident policies. Speak to a qualified financial adviser, to “fill in the gaps” in your protection.
Read This Next:
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.