Personal injury cover – is it worth an arm and a leg?
Any good Scout will tell you it’s good to be prepared, but thinking about your own injury or life cover can be a little overwhelming. After all, it feels strange to ask yourself, how much are my limbs worth?
I find thinking about the possibility of my own death or injury a bit disturbing – almost as though I’m tempting fate. That said, I guess it can be reassuring to know that you, or your family, could receive a big lump sum of money were something bad to befall you!
But big potential payouts, like £40,500 if you lose your big toe or up to £250,000 for losing your sight, tend to come at a cost. This is especially true if you buy a standalone policy, as you can pay anything from less than £5 a month for basic cover to more than £15 a month for a comprehensive plan.
Are the premiums worth the payout?
It’s worth noting personal injury cover is often included or can be added on to car, travel, sports, home and business insurance policies, which could possibly meet your needs.
If it doesn’t, your own circumstances – particularly your age and what you want to be covered for – will determine the cost of your standalone policy and therefore, whether you think it’s worth splashing the cash or not.
But even if you have a policy and suffer an injury as a result of an accident, it might not be as easy as you think to make a successful claim.
The Financial Ombudsman Service received 322 complaints last year regarding personal injury cover, most of which were filed due to providers refusing to pay out. This was usually because they decided the injury or death wasn’t the result of an accident, or because they applied an exclusion clause that meant the policyholder wasn’t considered to be sufficiently disabled.
It’s not for me…right now
Three months ago, I badly broke my left arm playing football. I had to undergo an operation to pull and pin the bones back in place, which meant I had to take some time off work. So would I have qualified for a payment if I’d had personal injury cover? It’s extremely unlikely, as I was in hospital less than 24 hours and my ‘disability’ wasn’t permanent.
If I’d been paying out monthly premiums on a personal injury policy, I would’ve been left frustrated. So I think I’m happy to continue taking my chances without one for now. But then I am a relatively healthy 20-something – perhaps I’ll think differently in the future when I have a family of my own.
Do you have personal injury cover? Are you worried about the exclusions, or are you comfortable with the small-print?
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