Just one fall in the yard, one mishap at work or one careless step while carrying out an ordinary old task for the millionth time, and now you’re injured. It’s so easy, in fact, that 38,300,000 people suffer nonfatal injuries each year. That’s why having the right insurance is so important. It’s a key way to ease the pain of hospital and doctor fees and lost wages if you’re sidelined by an injury.
Even if you have major medical coverage, accidental injury insurance options are there to help you navigate the financial burden that can come with a broken bone or a laceration. Here’s a look at five types of accidental injury insurance that may help.
1. Supplemental Accident Insurance
Supplemental accident insurance pays out a lump sum if you’re injured in a covered accident. Use it in addition to your primary health insurance to pay for costs that aren’t covered — or for any other costs you might have to handle. Accident insurance can also be used in conjunction with disability insurance by allowing you to claim benefits even if you’re not out of work.
Accident insurance typically has low premiums and pays out one cash benefit per covered injury regardless of treatment or costs. A broken leg might pay X, while an eye injury pays Y. The more severe the injury, the higher the amount. Some accidental injury insurance also has riders that can cover hospitalizations or ambulance services if you choose to add them.
2. Hospital Indemnity
A hospital indemnity policy can also act as a type of accidental injury insurance that specifically covers your hospitalization. These plans fill gaps in your primary medical coverage and can help pay for deductibles, prescriptions and other noncovered services while you’re in the hospital.
Hospital indemnity policies pay a set amount for each day you spend in the hospital. Some policies may dispense funds daily for long-term stays; others provide a lump sum after discharge. Since the average daily hospital stay in the U.S. costs over $2,000, hospital indemnity plans can ease a major financial burden when you’re laid up.
3. Workers’ Compensation
If you’re injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ comp, insurance designed for and carried by your employer to protect both of you as well as prevent lawsuits. Workers’ comp covers medical bills, recovery costs and missed wages due to your injury. Since recovering from a workplace injury takes an average of nine days, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers’ comp insurance can be a significant financial help.
The claim process can be complex, but if you’re injured on the job you should report your injury to your employer right away so they can notify the insurer. Then you must file a claim. Your state’s workers’ comp board processes your claim and gets the insurance benefits rolling and paid directly to you.
4. Disability Insurance
If your injury requires you to miss work, disability insurance will reimburse a portion of your wages — up to 60% for some policies. This type of insurance does not cover hospitalization or prescription medicines, though. It’s simply to replace lost wages.
Some employers’ benefit packages offer disability insurance. You can also take out a private supplemental policy to cover you in the event that you become disabled. If the injury is work related and you also claim workers’ comp, you’ll receive an offset — a small reduction in benefits from both insurance carriers to compensate for your claiming both.
5. Social Security Disability
If your injury is severe or prevents you from working long term, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. You can start an online application to apply. You’ll need to gather all relevant information, including medical support, documentation and records.
The application process is complex and can take between three and six months. Only about one-third of applications are granted approval at this stage, according to the Disability Benefits Center. Hiring a disability attorney to help with your application increases your chances of approval. If denied, you have 60 days to appeal. Your case is then reviewed by a judge, but the appeal process can be lengthy — up to two years. About 63% of cases are approved at this level.
No matter how serious or small your injury, having a supplemental accident policy in place could spell the difference between paying thousands out of pocket and being fully covered when you take a fall. Know your options and get covered now.