Accidental injury insurance, or supplemental accident insurance is an insurance plan designed to supplement your major medical insurance plan so that you are not left paying high deductibles or stuck trying to pay bills while missing work due to an accident. This type of plan is not meant to replace your major health coverage because accident insurance only covers injuries from accidents, not disease or chronic health issues. Accident insurance is a supplemental insurance policy that helps covers expenses that your health insurance doesn’t, such as your deductible, groceries, and even your mortgage.
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With Guardian Direct® you can select between two different plan options the top-tier plan and the mid-tier plan. Both plans cover you in case of a qualifying accidental injury just at different levels with the top-tier plan providing a higher cash benefit for most injuries. Although the monthly premiums for the top-tier plan are higher it also has a larger benefit for qualified injuries. The mid-tier plan is more affordable but has a smaller benefit for qualified injuries than the top-tier plan.
Accident insurance is designed to supplement your major health insurance. With accident insurance, if you get injured unexpectedly you will receive a cash benefit that can be used in any way that you see fit. This includes childcare expenses, groceries, household bills, and even rent or your mortgage. Depending on your plans you may be able to also purchase accident insurance for your children, if they are injured and you need to miss work to take care of them.
What’s the difference between insurance for a car accident with personal injury vs accident insurance?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is offered through car insurance carriers as an added benefit to your automobile coverage. With PIP any injuries that you may sustain in a car wreck may be covered. However, unlike accident insurance, PIP only covers injuries that occur as a result of a car accident but not from everyday accidents outside of your vehicle¹.
Guardian Direct® also offers adaptive home and vehicle coverage if your home or car needs have modifications due to an injury. This means that Guardian Direct® will pay either 5% of the insurance cost, $2,500, or the actual one-time cost for this service. Adaptive coverage covers things like adding a ramp into your van so that you can access it with a wheelchair or adding a stairlift to your stairs at home in the event that you cannot walk.
Do I need personal injury protection?
Accident insurance is typically not mandated however, it can be a good way to help offset out of pocket costs when you are injured. Aside from helping you to pay medical bills, an accident insurance benefit can also be used to pay for any bills or necessities if you have to miss work due to your injury.
Depending on your lifestyle having accident insurance may be a good choice for you. Accident insurance through Guardian Direct® has a wide range of covered injuries, some of the injuries that are covered include:
Loss of limbs
For some injuries, such as burns, your benefit will change based on the size and severity of the injury. As an example, with the top-tier plan, 2nd degree burns carry a maximum benefit of $3,000 whereas 3rd degree burns have a maximum benefit of $12,000. Accidental dismemberment, or losing a limb, is treated a bit differently than other injuries. Rather than a flat rate payout you will receive a cash benefit as a percentage of the accidental death benefit. For the loss of a hand, foot, or sight you will receive 50% of the death benefit if you lose more than one limb or your eyesight in the same accident you will receive 100% of the death benefit.
Accident insurance may also cover more than just your injuries, it may also cover associated medical costs such as ambulance rides including air ambulance. With the average cost of a ground ambulance ride being $450 after insurance and an air ambulance being over $21,000 after insurance having accident insurance to help offset the cost can be beneficial².
Additionally, Guardian Direct® accident insurance also has catastrophic loss coverage for accidents that cause quadriplegia, hemiplegia, paraplegia, loss of hearing in both ears, loss of speech, or loss of cognitive function. Like the accidental dismemberment coverage, catastrophic loss coverage pays a benefit as a percentage of the accidental death benefit. For quadriplegia, hearing and speech loss, and loss of cognitive function the benefit is equal to 100% of the death benefit and for hemiplegia and paraplegia the benefit is 50% of the death benefit.
A major factor in considering whether you need accident insurance is your lifestyle. If you are an active adult or if you have an active family then accident insurance may be beneficial because active people tend to get injured at a higher rate than non-active people³. In addition if you walk or bike to work, especially in high traffic areas, you may be at a higher risk for an accidental injury and accident insurance may be something to look into.
What is a personal injury benefit?
A personal injury benefit, or personal injury protection (PIP), is an insurance benefit that is offered through auto insurance and covers your injuries if you get into a car accident and need medical attention. Personal injury benefits are typically not offered in all states because auto insurance requirements are different from state to state.
States that have required or optional PIP are often states that also require no-fault insurance policies⁴. This means that if you are injured in a car accident it doesn’t matter who is at fault, your insurance will still cover your medical bills allowing you to still get coverage even if the other motorist is uninsured⁵. In addition to PIP many insurance carriers also offer Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay) which covers medical payments because of a vehicular accident. Typically, MedPay is used as a supplement to a PIP or as an add on to your regular car insurance in states where PIP is not required⁶.
At times, there may be an overlap between accident insurance and personal injury protection, like if you need to take an ambulance to a hospital after a car wreck. Both an accident insurance plan and PIP would help cover your ride. However, accident insurance is not limited to injuries related to car accidents, it can be used for many other qualifying accidents that might occur.
Should I buy supplemental accident injury insurance?
There are many reasons to consider buying supplemental accident insurance, however, before purchasing a plan you should take into account your budget and your lifestyle. One of the biggest reasons to consider supplemental accident insurance that it can help offset the cost of an unexpected hospital visit. Guardian Direct® accident insurance plans, subject to applicable restrictions and limitations, covers hospital admission at $1,250 to $1,750, confinement at $250 to $300 per day, ICU admission between $2,500 and $3,500, and ICU confinement between $500 to $600 per day.
Hospital coverage alone can make accident insurance worth it especially if you or your child is involved in sports where they could be injured and need to be taken to a hospital. Aside from sports you should also consider your exposure to potential accidents in your day-to-day life. For example, if you need to cross a busy street frequently, if you are doing home renovation projects that involve lifting heavy weights, or if you exercise frequently, you may be at higher risk for a potential accidental injury.
Are there other benefits to an accident injury insurance policy & Insights
Individual accident insurance is insurance that helps cover your out of pocket needs in the event that you are injured in an unforeseen accident. By paying a cash benefit for expenses and medical bills you can use the money where you need it the most which allows you to focus on healing rather than paying bills.
Guardian Direct® provides you with information to help you make an informed decision about purchasing accident insurance. Whenever you are making a choice regarding your family’s health and finances it is important to have all of the facts. That is why we have provided you with a large database of tips, resources, and frequently asked questions to help you an informed decision for you and your family.
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https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/personal-injury-protection-pip.asp (2020), accessed June 2021
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/10/why-taking-an-ambulance-is-so-expensive-in-the-united-states.html (2020), June 2021
https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-fmcc-fitness-2/chapter/safe-and-active/#:~:text=People%20who%20are%20physically%20fit,people%20who%20do%20less%20activity. accessed June 2021
https://www.coverage.com/insurance/auto/what-does-a-no-fault-state-mean-for-auto-insurance/ (2020), accessed July 2021
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/personal-injury-protection-pip.asp#:~:text=Personal%20injury%20protection%20(PIP)%20covers,per%2Dperson%20maximum%20coverage%20limit. (2020), accessed June 2021
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/medical-payments-coverage.asp (2021), accessed June 2021
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.05/22)