It could be as innocent as slipping over a banana peel a la Super Mario Kart or as nasty as a freak accident in a Muay Thai class — personal accident insurance should be part of your life if you fall under one of these five.
It was the final few weeks before the Circuit Breaker (CB) that my daughter — whom I affectionately call Tiny Dancer (TD) — had been training extra hard in kicks and jumps, and had started to complain of knee pains. Her ballet coach was concerned, so we made a trip to a physiotherapist.
“What’s your insurance company, if any?” came the first question when I filled out the registration form at TD’s appointment.
It had never occurred to me before that an eight-year-old kid would qualify as a relevant candidate for specific insurance coverage, allowing me to make a physiotherapy clinic reimbursement. I had overlooked an important factor: she is an athlete (or at least trains like one).
It turned out that her knee pains were a result of an IT band injury and required in-clinic electro-shock treatment and taping of the area after. As she had sustained the injury accidentally during training, the physio could have included a medical report that would have allowed me to claim the charges if I had purchased the right personal accident plan for TD.
The bottom line? Don’t be like me. Anyone can benefit from having a personal accident plan, such as the AXA SmartPA Protect+ plan. If you or your loved ones fall within any of the below categories, then you know that it’s an essential addition to your basic protection portfolio.
1. The one who is fit and fab
TD falls within this category, obviously, and so does my husband who insists on doing two HIIT workouts a day in addition to mid-distance running and cycling every other day. If you are a professional or amateur athlete - or even a football hobbyist - it wouldn’t hurt to have personal accident insurance.
This is because an active person is more likely to accidentally pull a muscle or sprain an ankle than someone whose hobby involves Netflix-ing in bed. Some plans offer payouts for TCM visits too, so you can even get acupuncture treatment or the more generic physiotherapy sessions (limits apply).
2. The one who is in a vulnerable category
If you’re getting older and may be prone to slips and falls, you may want to consider getting a personal accident plan. A temporary disablement payout while recovering would be useful to the family or caregivers to pay for nursing needs or food delivery.
However, you’d have to be cleared during health checks; pre-existing health conditions would not be covered under the plan. For example, if you have a pre-existing Vertigo condition and fall down during an episode, it would not be considered accidental.
3. The one who is the sole breadwinner or caregiver
The sole or main breadwinner of a family can afford to have a little more protection as the other members of the family depend on his or her ability to provide for them. If work isn't possible due to an accident, a payout can help to take care of family expenses until full recovery.
A homemaker who takes care of family matters could also fall in this category, as the household may fall apart in the event of accidental injury.
Someone whose profession is classified on the riskier end would require the highest level of protection. For example, those who work in transport, construction or F&B (hawkers, for instance) would be a good candidate to get a personal accident plan, in addition to what their company is already offering on a group basis.
4. The one who rides a two-wheeler
It’s unfortunate that a cyclist is more vulnerable on the roads than the person behind the wheel of a car. Singapore has a long way to go before she becomes a truly cyclist-friendly nation with the right infrastructure to support safe cycling. And it can be unfair to expect anyone to give up these convenient and affordable modes of transport that are also sustainable and earth-friendly.
Those who like to kick-scoot or skateboard to the corner store are in the same quandary. While cycling tracks and park connectors are made for two-wheelers, no one can foresee a slippery patch on the road and accidents do occur even on such designated paths. So an accident protection plan would be useful if ever – touch wood – something happens to these bikers and boarders.
5. The one who freelances
We have seen many people who work ad hoc jobs get affected by COVID-19, more so than others. Writers, graphic designers, musicians, yoga instructors and others in the gig economy had their livelihoods taken away due to the circuit breaker shutdowns.
But they would not have to wait for a pandemic to happen to experience a loss of income: just getting food poisoning or breaking an arm could mean that they’re unable to perform onstage or pick up passengers, thus losing their pay for that duration of illness or injury. A personal accident plan is an affordable way to manage these risks.
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