As you prepare to celebrate Independence Day at home due to the pandemic and cancellation of large public celebrations, home fireworks displays are on the rise. But as private fireworks displays increase, so can the chances of injury.
When you consider your plans for the Fourth of July, they probably don’t involve an emergency room. But in 2018 alone, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 9,100 people for fireworks-related injuries.¹ Firework injuries can be very serious and costly to treat. Fortunately, there’s a way to minimize those costs while still getting the high-quality treatment you need. Accident insurance can help you save on any unexpected costs of treating injuries caused by a fireworks accident.
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Does accident insurance cover firework injuries?
In most cases, accident insurance covers injuries caused by fireworks. This means that if you have accident insurance, your insurance provider may pay you a cash benefit depending on the type of firework injury and the treatment you receive. While your health insurance may cover most of the cost of treatment, your accident insurance can help you pay for the out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by medical insurance. Many major medical insurance programs have deductibles that you would be responsible to pay should an accident occur. Three in five people don't have the funds to cover a $3,000 medical bill² and accident insurance can help you cover those costs.
What kind of injury occurs most often in fireworks accidents?
Firecrackers and sparklers cause the most firework injuries. Sparklers alone account for over a quarter of all emergency room fireworks injuries.³ The most common injuries caused by fireworks are:
Burns - 44% of emergency department-treated firework injuries are burns, most commonly on legs, hands, fingers, and arms
Contusions and lacerations - These account for 28% of emergency department-treated firework injuries. Contusions and lacerations are the most common eye injuries from fireworks
Fractures and sprains, especially on the leg, hands, and fingers⁴
All the most common types of firework injuries are covered by accident insurance in most cases.
What accident insurance covers
Accident insurance covers a wide range of injury and treatment types. Depending on the type of plan you purchase it can cover just you or your entire immediate family. Guardian Direct accident insurance covers over 25 accidental injuries and treatments, including:
Injuries – Burns, lacerations, accident-related concussions, broken bones, dislocations, coma, loss of limbs, surgery, and death
Emergency care – Emergency room and urgent care visits, as well as follow-up doctor visits
Telemedicine care – Telemedicine coverage via audio and video equipment, allowing you to receive urgent medical treatment from your physician while staying at home
Ambulance services – Ambulance rides, including air ambulances
Diagnostic tests – Diagnostic X-rays, CAT scans, EEGs, and MRIs
Hospital treatment – Hospital and ICU admission and stays
Rehabilitation treatment – Rehabilitation center stays and physical therapy sessions
Restorative treatment – Prescribed appliances, prosthetics, injury-related dental extractions or crowns, and injury-related eye surgery or object removal
When are firework injuries not covered?
In some instances, firework injuries may not be covered by accident insurance. Though every plan is different, the following injuries likely may not be covered:
Injuries caused by illegal fireworks – If your injury is caused by fireworks that were purchased or set off illegally, your accident insurance may not cover treatment. Some states don’t allow the use of consumer fireworks at all. Make sure you never purchase altered fireworks or set them off in a prohibited area.
Injuries caused by reckless or dangerous activities – Use common sense and practice responsible fire safety whenever using fireworks. If you were lighting fireworks recklessly when the accident occurred, it may not be covered.
Injuries that occur while intoxicated – If you are injured by a firework while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your accident insurance won’t cover treatment.
Injuries caused on purpose – Accident insurance only kicks in for accidental firework injuries. If you intentionally used a firework to injure yourself or a member of your family, you won’t receive a cash benefit.
Injuries incurred before purchasing accident insurance – Accident insurance doesn’t work retroactively. If you experienced a firework injury prior to purchasing accident insurance, you won’t receive a cash benefit for it.
How to prevent firework injuries
Though accident insurance can help cover the cost of treating a firework injury, it’s best to prevent those accidents before they even happen. That’s why the National Fire Protection Association recommends not using consumer fireworks.
Firework safety tips
If you do choose to use legal fireworks, follow these safety tips closely to prevent firework injuries:
Don’t allow young children to handle fireworks
Don't use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Wear protective eyewear when using fireworks or standing nearby
Don’t hold lit fireworks in your hands
Light fireworks outdoors on a hard, flat surface in an open area.
Don’t point or throw fireworks at another person
Don’t ignite fireworks in a container
Don’t re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
Soak spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding them
Keep a bucket of water nearby to extinguish fireworks or in case of fire
Don’t use illegal fireworks
What is accident insurance?
Accident insurance is a type of supplemental insurance that pays out a cash benefit if you experience an accidental injury, such as a burn, concussion, or broken bone. While medical insurance usually takes care of most injury treatment expenses, accident insurance can help cover the expenses that health insurance alone doesn’t fully cover. Those out-of-pocket costs might include deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance.
Accident insurance benefits paid are based on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, and the type of medical treatment you receive.
How accident insurance works
Accident insurance works a little differently from other types of insurance plans you might be used to. Dental insurance plans and medical insurance plans usually pay a certain percentage of the overall cost of treatment directly to your care provider, once co-pays are paid and deductibles are met.
Accident insurance, on the other hand, provides a cash benefit in one lump sum when you or a family member experiences a covered accidental injury, such as a burn from a firework. This cash is paid directly to you and can be used in any way you choose. Whether you use it to cover out-of-pocket treatment costs, to pay your mortgage, or even to purchase groceries, the choice is yours. A comprehensive accident insurance plan can help you avoid draining your savings if an accidental injury occurs. Unlike many other insurance plans, most accident insurance plans don’t involve any waiting periods, annual maximums, or deductibles.
Accident insurance & health insurance
Accident insurance and health insurance share some similarities, but they are not the same. Health insurance covers a portion of the cost of a policyholder’s medical expenses, with coverage and out-of-pocket costs varying widely from plan to plan. Many health insurance plans cover emergency services, hospitalization, preventive services, prescription drugs, and more. Health insurance covers medical and hospital expenses incurred due to illness and disease as well as injuries.
Accident insurance only covers medical expenses in the event of an accident. It is never meant to replace or act as a substitute for a major medical plan. It’s a supplemental insurance plan designed to soften the blow of high out-of-pocket costs you may otherwise be responsible for when receiving treatment for an accidental injury. Many accident insurance plans are available to purchase online year-round, making them much easier to purchase than most health insurance plans. Accident insurance is typically much more affordable with plans starting at just $14.95 per month in most states.
Do I need accident insurance?
While many accidents are preventable, accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. It never hurts to be prepared – especially if you’re planning on using consumer fireworks anytime soon.
Accident insurance is especially worth considering if your medical insurance has a high deductible. But even if your medical insurance doesn’t have a high deductible, you can use your accident insurance benefits to cover non-medical expenses as well, such as bills or childcare costs.
If you have children, purchasing accident insurance may be a good idea. Accidents are very frequent among children – and too often, they’re very serious. In 2018, unintentional injury was found to be the leading cause of death in children and young adults aged 1 to 19⁵. Accident insurance can help you mitigate the costs of pediatric injury treatment.
A recent survey found that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.⁶ If you don’t have money set aside for emergencies, accident insurance may be worth looking into. Accident insurance can offer you protection and financial support when you need it most. Many accidental injuries can’t be prevented and purchasing accident insurance can help ensure you’re financially prepared just in case something goes wrong – whether you experience a firework explosion, a bad burn, or another covered injury.
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The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study℠, Fourth Annual, 2016
https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=accident-statistics-90-P02853, accessed June 2020
Benefit amounts will vary based on the type of injury sustained due to a covered accident. Payment of actual benefits is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions described in the Plan. Benefit not available in New York. The child must be insured by the plan on date the accident occurred. The child must be 18 years of age or younger.
Individual accident insurance products are underwritten by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, New York. Products are not available in all states. Policy limitations and exclusions apply. The actual limitations and exclusions that apply to your Accident Plan are governed by the policy forms approved for use in your state. Please refer to your policy for a complete list of limitations and exclusions. In the event of a conflict between this document and the language stated in your Guardian insurance policy, the language of the policy shall control. This policy provides limited benefits only.
Guardian Direct plans are underwritten and issued by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America New Your, N.Y. or its subsidiaries. Products are not available in all states. Policy limitations and exclusions apply. In the event of a conflict between this document and the language stated in your Guardian insurance policy, the language of the policy shall control.
Rates are guaranteed for one year for your policy of benefits initially selected. Policies renew annually up to age 90.
Accident Individual Policy Form IP- Accident: IP-ACC-16 et. al.
Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.(exp.06/22)