Accidental Injury Insurance
If you do not already have accidental injury insurance, you need it. If you do have it, you need to review your policy and make sure it adequately covers you. And if you have accidental injury insurance for most situations, you need to make certain you have coverage for your entire family. Even more importantly, if you and the family are protected against accidents but do not have disability insurance to make-up lost wages and salaries, you need that coverage, too. Call an insurance professional today.
“Accident”: Are You Covered?
Not surprisingly, because lawyers write insurance policies and contracts, strict definitions apply to all the terms in your accidental injury insurance. You have experienced an “accident” when, through no fault of your own, you suffer an injury in the normal conduct of your affairs. As you determine what kind of insurance coverage you need and figure out how much it will cost, this basic definition will influence your choices. What the definition does not say matters as much as what it specifies. What if, for example, you suffer an injury as a result of your own negligence, recklessness, or sloppiness?
Are you covered? What if you suffer an injury at the company softball game; is that part of your normal conduct? Are you covered? And, how exactly are you covered? Will your insurance simply pay your medical costs, or will it replace your lost income? What will your insurance cover if you are permanently disabled? What will your insurance provide if you die? No, of course, you do not want to think about these possibilities, but for your family’s sake, you must.
Legal definitions both include and exclude. The exclusions generally outnumber the conditions included in an insurance policy. As you shop for insurance, you must remain alert to the difference between “accident” insurance and “disability” insurance. Unless you specify otherwise and pay extra premiums, “accident” insurance covers only the costs of treatment and recovery, a substitute for or supplement to your health insurance. Accident insurance does nothing to replace lost income. Disability insurance makes-up for the wages or salary you forfeit as you recover from serious illness or injury.
The Fundamentals of Accidental Injury Insurance
Your employer undoubtedly covers you while you work, but your employer’s insurance protects him far more than it protects you. Normally, your employer’s insurance will pay your medical costs and reasonable costs of rehabilitation. If you can show that your employer failed to protect you from the possibility of this accident—the jobsite was inherently unsafe—you may sue your employer, and his insurance usually will pay for a settlement. If one of your co-workers acted recklessly or negligently, your employer’s insurance may cover only part of your claim. When you play shortstop on the company softball team, you play at your own risk; your HR person probably asks you to sign a waiver as you strap on your gear. If you suffer an injury while travelling for work, the situation grows extremely complicated, because attorneys will argue about whether or not you got hurt during “the normal conduct of your affairs.”
You may not, in fact, even need accidental injury insurance, because your health care insurance covers routine injuries without regard for cause or fault. You still must double-check to see what your health insurance provides for your family. If, for example, your children play soccer and other sports with serious risk of injury, you probably must add extra coverage. You also should check to see what your vehicle insurance will cover. Most states require you carry liability insurance that provides payment for other people’s medical costs; check to see how it will pay for the costs of your own injuries. Neither your health insurance nor your car insurance will pay to protect you against loss of income.
In most states, Standard Disability Insurance (SDI) compensates you for lost income. As the commercial says, “When you are hurt and cannot work,” someone must continue paying your bills. SDI typically pays only 60% of your lost wages. If you have accidental injury insurance, your policy will cover the rest; it will cover even more if you pay for full income protection. If after reasonable recovery and rehabilitation, you cannot resume your regular employment, you may seek accommodation from your employer, returning to work part-time or with modified duty; if these adjustments translate to lost income; your disability insurance may or may not cover you. You want to work with your insurance agent to make sure that it will.
“Responsible Parties” and other Liability Issues
What if the neighbor’s wild child comes over to play with your kids at your house, climbing your tallest tree, breaking a branch, falling two stories, and breaking a hundred major bones? Common sense says the kid made all the mistakes, but the child’s parents, their attorneys, and insurance representatives will make you responsible. Does your homeowner’s insurance cover you for accidental injuries that happen on your property?
Will your insurance company step-up and represent you if the neighbors and their wild child file suit against you? And what about workers who come into your home for minor repairs? What if the electrician is not quite so skilled as he claims, managing to fry his hair and nerves as he sticks a screwdriver into a live socket? Are you covered?
These are all complex issues that deserve the utmost attention. If you find yourself in a situation where your accident has rendered you disabled, then it’s a smart idea to see if Quadrino Schwartz can help. With cases like this, there are a number of variables at play. Whether you want to negotiate a disability settlement, hire an insurance claim lawyer, or file a class action lawsuit, they can help. These lawyers will know exactly how to deal with your situation and, ultimately, they will make sure that you receive the best possible coverage.
A Comprehensive Insurance Review
A comprehensive insurance review probably will leave you feeling vulnerable to all kinds of lawsuits and losses. Remember, though, insurance works to protect you, guarding you in all your vulnerable places and protecting all your most valuable assets.
A reliable insurance agent will help you review your coverage and needs, preparing recommendations with no obligation to secure insurance coverage from him. Take advantage of the agent’s service, arranging coverage that will protect you and your family against all of life’s catastrophes.