/ Health, Money

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?

Comments
Guest
Argus says:
16 July 2012

I would counter that with ‘how long before these sort of insurances become compulsory?’

I had it free for 3 months with my recent car insurance, then suddenly I was losing £15.99 a MONTH, so I cancelled it. Just another swindle in my eyes, my buildings insurance is less than that, my contents insurance is also less.

What are the rules here? If I don’t have personal injury insurance, can I not claim for whiplash of someone rams me from behind? In the event of an accident, not at fault, where do you stand?

Argus

Profile photo of richard
Guest

Interesting – I have a personal injury policy started around 66 years ago – never claimed though the amount to be paid out is tiny. As I usually go on fairly active holidays – I tended to get individual limited period cover – but as I’m now over 80 I can no longer get cover though still fit enough to do active holidays like hiking and camping with my dogs. Obviously I have personal injury cover with my car insurance – but no accidents yet. I have broken bones but never thought of claiming as they were my own fault.

Profile photo of robertcosta86
Guest

The possibilities of our own death and injuries are found high so we should not allow taking any kind of risk; therefore we take positive precautions such as hiring an injury lawyer who is liable to pay back our losses during every personal injury cases. For every personal injury we get proper compensation and cover. A well trained professional injury attorney should be a better choice under personal injury circumstances.

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Guest

All Insurances are suspect in that they employ those on remits to sell & administer with bias .Worse still appear to be emanating from corrupted banking system .This can be seen with legal expenses . Personal injury unless & accident isn’t considered especially when deliberate & police & courts refuse to address saying civil when institutionalised fraud .So the complex more unjust cases are prevented from having fair hearings.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Guest

David Paine, if you take part in a risky activity then a specific insurance would be appropriate, wouldn’t it? In your case a sports insurance that covered football (and equal or less risky sports). Insurance should always be chosen to include the risks you believe you are likely to encounter.