How To Personal Accident Insurance

Accident insurance is particularly tricky – here we explain it to you

2020-04-28
Carina

Do you like to ride your mountain bike over stony trails? Enjoy snowboarding down the steepest slopes? Maybe you're not into extreme sports, but you're very active in your free time and do all your shopping by bike? Or perhaps you prefer to enjoy your everyday life at home? Whether you're a daring adventurer, a cautious family person or a fun-loving couch potato, an accident can happen to anyone. We say: Don't let this stop you from living life to the fullest!

The ultimate guide to personal accident insurance

In any case, life is full of risks. And accidents always surprise us at unexpected times – whether doing sports or cleaning the kitchen. Sometimes you might only bang your knee, but what if your injury is something more serious than a scratch? Accident insurance is designed to protect you from the serious cases that you don't even want to think about. So don't let a "what if?" hold you back, but think about what you want to be covered for. Perhaps this will make you feel at-ease and, above all, safer the next time you want to take a chance – whether it's snowboarding in the winter or mountain biking in the summer.

This how-to guide helps you find out if personal accident insurance fits your needs and which consequences of an accident are covered. From accident payments to the schedule of compensation, we will explain everything about personal accident insurance and answer the following questions:

  • What is personal accident insurance and who is it for?
  • What does accident insurance cover – and what is excluded?
  • How much money will I receive in case of an accident?
  • What does accident insurance cost?
  • How do I file a claim for an accident?
  • Should I take out personal accident insurance if I already have statutory accident insurance?
  • What are the advantages of the premium extension?

What is personal accident insurance and who is it for?

The purpose of accident insurance is to cushion the financial consequences if an accident permanently impairs your health. Of course, it’s not nice to think about accidents that seriously affect your health. But even if we don't like to think that something like this could happen to us, it doesn’t help to just ignore it. That's why it's great that you're thinking about accident insurance and reading this article, even if it’s not the nicest topic. You have already taken the first important step.

So let's take a look at why accident insurance can be useful. An accident might lead to rescue, recovery or transportation costs that need to be reimbursed. Cosmetic treatment in particular is not covered by health insurance, and if an accident leaves you unable to work, you are usually only entitled to six weeks of sick pay. If an accident results in a permanent disability, you may require domestic help or have to redesign your home to make it accessible. Such investments are costly. An accident can turn your world upside down and cause a lot of psychological stress. The accident insurer can support you financially during such challenging times. So despite everything, at least you won't have to worry about money.

But does accident insurance make sense for everyone? Sure, anyone could have an accident with tragic consequences. But there are two groups of people that might not require accident insurance:

  1. If you already have occupational disability insurance (also known as income protection insurance). In this case you are already well protected, even if you can no longer work due to an illness. There is one thing to consider, though. Disability insurance does not pay a lump sum to cover the direct consequences of an accident. In this case, accident insurance provides considerably more immediate benefits.
  2. If children already have invalidity insurance, they don’t need additional accident insurance cover.

However, for all other people, personal accident insurance can be worthwhile since it provides comprehensive protection in the event of accidents. It is especially recommended for these four groups:

  1. Children, because they look for adventure around every corner, like to romp around wildly and are often more careless than adults. This increases their risk of accidents.
  2. Housewives and househusbands as well as freelancers or other self-employed people, as they do not have workers’ compensation. At the same time, most accidents happen within your own four walls.
  3. Accident insurance offers a good alternative for anyone who is unable to take out disability insurance due to underlying health conditions, their professional activity or other exclusion criteria.
  4. Older people, who are also particularly prone to accidents. They are more likely to have a fall, and the risk of serious injury is high. Senior citizens can also take out accident insurance with Getsafe up to the age of 70. For them, however, it makes more sense to take out accident insurance tailored specifically to older people and their needs, with less focus on disability benefits.

What does accident insurance cover – and what is excluded?

It is a common misunderstanding that accident insurance covers any kind of accident. This is not true. The insurance policy should clearly define what is and isn’t considered an accident. We explain the term accident in detail here. In short, accident insurance only covers accidents that happen suddenly and unintentionally and that result in a long-term physical or mental disability.

If you were hit by a car, fell off a ladder or the saw slipped while you were cutting wood, then the accident was caused by an external influence: i.e. the car, the ladder or the saw. If this accident causes long-term health problems, then the accident insurance will pay out. With Getsafe, you are also covered if you accidentally injure yourself. Examples could be straining, spraining or tearing muscles or damaging joints and ligaments while exercising or playing sport.

So to summarise, here are the requirements:

  • You have an accident.
  • You become disabled.
  • Your disability is the result of the accident.

Want to know more about the term disability? Read here to find out exactly what it means in the context of accident insurance.

Don’t forget: Although risky sports like skiing, kart racing and slacklining are covered by accident insurance, this only applies if you do these activities in your free time. If you are a professional athlete, professional diver or a stunt performer, you will need special insurance to cover those specific risks. This is also true for all sporting activities for which you need a licence. So if you take part in a race with your motorcycle or fly your glider, any resulting accident is excluded from personal accident insurance.

How much money will I receive in case of an accident?

How much money you receive and what benefits you are entitled to depends on what you agree with your insurer when you sign the contract. The basic module includes at least the disability benefit in the form of a one-off payment.

The amount of this one-off payment depends on the base sum you have chosen and how serious the health consequences of the accident are. The base sum is the maximum amount that can be paid to you. How much you receive is calculated using something called a schedule of compensation, which covers each body part and sensory organ. The schedule determines the percentage of the base sum you are entitled to if the functions of a body part or organ are impaired after an accident.

Here’s a concrete example to demonstrate. In the schedule of compensation, an arm is labelled with 75%. This means that if you have chosen a base sum of 100,000 euros, you will be paid 75% of this sum if you cannot move your arm at all, resulting in a payout of 75,000 euros in total. Still confused? You can find everything you need to know about the schedule of compensation here.

As if this wasn't complicated enough, now the progression comes into play. But it's worth thinking about it for a moment. With a progression, the disability benefit increases dynamically. It applies if the degree of disability is over 25%. You can select a progression rate of either 225%, 350% or 500%. The higher the degree of disability, the greater the payout from the progression. Do you want to know in detail how the disability benefit is calculated in relation to the rate of progression? Read more in our glossary article on progression.

In addition to the one-off disability benefit, accident insurance offers other benefits that you can include in your insurance package as an option. For example, you can receive an accident pension, which is paid to you monthly starting from a 50% degree of disability. Other options are a daily hospital allowance or a death benefit, which supports your surviving relatives financially if the worst happens. If you want to get accident insurance, you will have to make a series of decisions. In our decision aid we navigate you through the decision-making process and give you tips and recommendations.

What does accident insurance cost?

How expensive your accident insurance is depends on several factors and therefore varies from person to person. The following examples should help you understand how the premium (the monthly payment for your insurance cover) is calculated.

Your insurance premium depends first and foremost on the base sum you choose: the higher the base sum, the higher your premium. A higher rate of progression also means a higher premium. Personal characteristics such as age, profession and pre-existing health conditions also play a role. In general, older people who already have physical or mental health conditions and people who work in a 'dangerous profession' – for example, some trades and technical professions or jobs that require frequent travel – tend to pay more for their accident insurance.

In addition, there are many additional benefits that you can choose to include in your accident insurance. If you choose one or more of these, your premium will naturally be higher. Here are three examples:

  • George is 26 years old and works as a graphic designer in an advertising agency in Berlin. As he works in an office, his professional comes under risk group A, the group with the lowest risk. He has never had a serious accident before, but since he likes to kitesurf in summer and snowboard in winter, he thinks it makes sense to get accident insurance. If he chooses the basic module with no benefits and with the lowest progression rate of 225% and a base sum of 120,000 euros, George would have to pay 9,33 euros per month. But since George got promoted last month, he chooses the premium extension including a daily hospital allowance of 20 euros, a death benefit of 10.000 euros and an accident pension of 500 euros. With these additional benefits, his monthly premium rises to 13,24 euros.
  • For comparison, if George had followed his childhood dream and was now a surfing instructor, he would pay 14,22 euros for the basic module and 22,40 euros for the premium extension, because this job is classed in risk group B.
  • The situation is different with Sophia. The 40-year-old mother and housewife wants to insure herself and her horse-loving daughter Maria, so she takes out accident insurance with the premium extension, each with a 350% progression. She sets a base sum of 100,000 euros. She herself will then have to pay 9,84 euros per month. Because Sophia’s daughter is only 10 years old, the insurance premium is cheaper for her and costs just 5,38 euros. We recommend her to choose an accident pension of 500 euros for Maria. This will increase the premium for her daughter to 7,21 euros.
  • Mercedes runs her own gym and works there as a personal trainer. She’s not interested in added extras, but wants the highest payout if something happens. This is also reflected in her accident insurance: She chooses a 500% progression with a base sum of 180,000 euros, with no additional benefits. As a fitness trainer, she belongs to risk group B. For her accident insurance with Getsafe, she pays 27,32 euros per month.

How do I file a claim for an accident?

After an accident the most important thing is your good healthcare and recovery. Therefore, there are generous time limits. After the accident you have 18 months to report the accident and file a claim with your insurance company. You can either simply call our customer service or send us an email. You should also submit a medical certificate to prove your disability within 18 months after the accident.

Here are a few basic rules you should be aware of:

  • It is very important that you get examined and treated by a doctor. The doctor's certificate of your state of health or your disability will determine whether and how much money you will receive from the accident insurance company.
  • Even if you have many months to spare, it is best to contact the insurer as soon as possible. Make sure that the information you provide is complete and that you answer questions truthfully.
  • Be cooperative: Your insurer may appoint a doctor to examine you. Sometimes your insurer may also need information from doctors, other insurers or authorities. It is best to provide any authorisations your insurer may need.
  • Before an accident happens, make sure that your relatives know that you have accident insurance. If it comes to the worst, they should contact the insurer within 21 days of a fatal accident to obtain financial support.
  • In rare cases, the insurer may require an autopsy to be performed. The insurer needs the consent of the surviving relatives in order to do this.

Should I take out personal accident insurance if I already have statutory accident insurance?

In Germany, every employee, student, registered jobseeker, school child and pre-school child is covered by statutory accident insurance. Hoewever, the statutory insurance only covers accidents that occur at work or school or on the direct route to and from work and school. Around 75 percent of accidents occur at home or during free time. Some groups of people, such as housewives and househusbands, pensioners, and freelancers or entrepreneurs are excluded from statutory accident insurance. Almost anybody can get personal accident insurance to protect them at all times and in any place – whether at work, at home, during free time or when on holiday abroad.

What are the advantages of the premium extension?

If you opt for the premium extension, you will benefit from higher payouts, as it is based on an even better schedule of compensation. For example, the compensation rate for one hand is 75% compared to 70% in the basic module. Premium customers also receive some additional benefits. In case of death, the accident pension is paid to the surviving partner and children. The surviving relatives receive 70% of the agreed accident pension over a period of three years.

Are you a globetrotter and always looking for adventure on your travels? With the premium extension, you receive double the daily hospital allowance abroad if an accident should happen. It also provides up to 50,000 euros for your transport to Germany.

The premium extension offers numerous advantages, especially for families. We know that the first months with a newborn baby are wonderful, but also very exhausting. Your accident insurance policy covers your baby for at least three months, so you don't have to worry about your baby's accident coverage. For children, closeness to their parents and emotional support after an accident is especially important. With the premium extension, there is an allowance for rooming-in, which enables one parent to spend the night in hospital with their co-insured child. The premium extension also offers up to 1,500 euros to pay for logopaedic or psychological therapies for children.