Everyone experiences bad luck now and then. Like when you don’t strike Toto, the MRT breaks down, or your HDB didn’t get selected for en bloc.
But what about if you get hit by some chao ah beng on an e-scooter, fall onto the road and then get run over by a truck? We’re not talking about just breaking your head here – you could become a vegetable through no fault of your own. *shudders*
In scenarios like the last one, you’re probably going to wish you were covered by personal accident insurance before the dreadful incident.
No clue what this whole personal accident insurance thing is about? Here’s a primer.
10 best personal accident insurance plans in Singapore 2019
Here’s a list of personal accident insurance plans offered by some of the most reputable insurers in Singapore. Many of these insurers offer a range of plans, depending on how much coverage you need and how much you’re willing to pay.
For comparison’s sake, we’ve included each insurer’s most basic, most inexpensive plan with no add-ons.
|Personal accident insurance||Annual cost||Coverage (death / TPD)||Coverage (medical expenses)|
|Aviva Personal Accident Insurance||$85.50||$100,000||$3,000|
|AXA SmartPersonal Accident Silver||$85.60||$100,000||$2,000|
|FWD Personal Accident Plan||$90||$100,000||$2,000|
|Tokio Marine TM 365 Plan A||$90.95||$50,000||$2,000|
|Sompo PA Star Standard||$101.65||$50,000||$2,000|
|MSIG ProtectionPlus Silver||$123.05||$100,000 (death) / $150,000 (TPD)||$1,000|
|Etiqa eProtect Safety Silver||$150||$100,000||$2,000|
|Prudential PRUpersonal Accident Insurance||$175||$100,000||$2,000 (+ $500 for TCM)|
|AIG Sapphire Enhanced Plan 1||$189||$100,000||$4,000|
|NTUC Income PA Assurance||$198||$100,000 (death) / $150,000 (TPD)||$2,000|
Note that the premiums are for adults under 65 doing office work and who are not engaged in manual labour or risky work. If you are a manual worker or involved in risky work, you’ll usually be quoted a higher rate for the annual premium.
What is personal accident insurance anyway?
Personal accident insurance is designed to give you or your family financial support should you die in an accident or become permanently disabled. It will also take care of some of your medical expenses.
While different policies are going to cover you in slightly different ways, it’s helpful to know the main types of Personal Accident coverage policies insurers tend to offer.
Accidental death: If you pass away within a time limit (usually 12 months) from the date of an accident, your family will receive a payout worth 100% of the sum insured. It must be proven that your death was due to an accident, rather than natural causes or an illness or injury that wasn’t due to accidental causes.
Total permanent disability (TPD): If you get disabled seriously enough to qualify as permanently and totally disabled within a time limit (usually 12 months) from the date of an accident, you will receive a lump sum payment. In order to be considered permanently and totally disabled, you usually need to lose your sight in both eyes, lost both your hands and feet, or any combination of the above, or lose your hearing and speech. You should also no longer be able to work in any job.
Partial permanent disability: If you’re permanently disabled but not seriously enough to be considered totally disabled, you can still get a percentage payout of the sum insured. For instance, you might receive a payout of 20% for the loss of an eye.
Temporary disability: If you’re disabled as a result of an accident for just a temporary period but are unable to work during that period, you might be eligible for benefits until you have recovered and are able to work again. These benefits are usually given in weekly cash payouts for a certain number of weeks. If you are suffering from a total temporary disability that makes you completely unable to work, you’re eligible for the full sum of temporary disability benefits. If you can perform your duties at work partially, you will get only a fraction of the temporary disability benefits.
Medical expenses: You can also make claims for medical expenses arising as a result of an accident. However, do note that coverage is paltry compared to what is offered by health insurance, and many types of treatment are excluded.
Daily hospital cash benefit: Some policies offer a daily allowance for each day you’re hospitalised because of an accident up to a maximum number of days.
Medical evacuation: Should you get into accident while overseas, some policies will pay for the cost of emergency evacuation, or repatriate your body back to Singapore if you die.
Verdict: which is the cheapest personal accident insurance plan?
The absolute cheapest personal accident policy on our list is Aviva Personal Accident Insurance, beating out AXA SmartPersonal Accident Silver by just 10 cents. (Well, they say every cent counts….)
Despite its affordable premiums, the basic coverage this policy offers is pretty decent, which $100,000 for death and total/permanent disability, which is the industry standard, and $3,000 for medical expenses, which is above average.
So why is this policy so cheap? Well, it is quite a bare bones one. It covers you for accidental death and permanent disablement, medical expenses, daily hospital allowance, personal liability and… that’s all.
Weekly temporary disablement benefits, reimbursement of mobility aid and ambulance services are not insured unless you pay more to include them as add-ons.
You also won’t see the perks offered by some of the more expensive policies, like coverage for your children and family members, coverage of personal effects and belongings, trauma counselling or physiotherapy.
Still, if you’re looking for basic coverage, this policy performs quite decently due to its generous claim limits.
Runner up: most value-for-money personal accident insurance plan
MSIG ProtectionPlus Silver has average premiums compared to the others on the list, but still packs a punch in the range of benefits offered.
The plan stands out thanks to the generous permanent disablement limit of $150,000. Although the medical expense benefit could be better, the former more than makes up for it.
But that’s not all. The plan also offers benefits for temporary total disablement, temporary partial disablement, hospitalisation cash benefits, recuperation benefits, bereavement grant and terrorism cover. And very importantly for families, up to three children receive free coverage when you and your spouse enrol at the same time.
It would actually cost you less to sign up for this plan than to pick one the cheapest plans on the list and then add on cover for temporary disablement, hospital or child benefits.
Who should buy personal accident insurance?
Accidents can happen to anybody, but is personal accident insurance something you really need, or is it another way for insurers to prey on your fears? Let’s talk about who it’s important for and why.
You might need personal accident insurance more than the average person if…
You are working in a risky job: If your job contains an element of physical risk, personal accident insurance is a must. This is especially so if you are not eligible for compulsory Work Injujry Compensation Insurance and you don’t have or have inadequate employer-sponsored insurance. So if you’re working in construction, doing factory work or are a delivery driver, you definitely want to consider getting insured.
You participate in risky or extreme sports: If you’re a parkour enthusiast who likes jumping off the roof of buildings or climb mountains for fun, your chances of fatal accidents might be higher than someone whose hobby is reading. Just make sure your activities are not excluded from coverage. Here is an example on page 5 of an exclusion clause from Aviva’s Terms and Conditions, it depicts which activities are covered and therefore, what activities are not.
You commute by motorcycle or ride your bicycle or electric scooter on the road: Singaporeans aren’t exactly the most careful or considerate of drivers. That means plying the roads on a motorcycle, bicycle or e-scooter can be like trying to cheat death. If that’s your preferred mode of commute, your risk of accidents is higher than that guy who takes the MRT.
You travel often to remote or unsafe areas: Singapore might be safe as it gets, but the same cannot be said of many other places in the world. If you often travel to remote areas where it would be difficult to get you to a hospital if you were to get hurt, or visit war-torn or crime-ridden countries, make sure you’re well insured.
You have family members who depend on you financially: If you die or become incapable of working, your family members will be in a very bad place financially. It is thus essential to protect them with insurance should something happen to you.
Personal accident insurance vs health insurance
Personal accident insurance sounds nice to have, you say, but you already have health insurance that can save you if you get hospitalised. What’s the difference between the two?
Health insurance is designed to cover the costs of medical treatment should you get hospitalised. But your health insurance policy is not going to pay your family a single cent if you get involved in an accident and are killed on the spot.
If you survive an accident but are permanently and totally disabled, personal accident insurance will offer you a payout that will help you to survive your remaining years without working. Health insurance will only cover medical bills incurred after the accident, but will not provide you with anything beyond that.
It should be noted that personal accident insurance only covers you if you are involved in an accident, not if you fall ill or get injured because of natural causes or other reasons that can’t be classified as accidents. Health insurance, on the other hand, doesn’t care how you wound up in the hospital (unless the reason is excluded under the policy) and pays your expenses regardless.
Personal accident insurance vs life insurance
Well, what about life insurance? This looks very similar to personal accident insurance, since both offer payouts if you die or are totally and permanently disabled.
Life insurance is broader in coverage, as it offers a payout if you die or become disabled for any reason (except those that are excluded in the policy). So basically, life insurance tends to offer better protection.
That sounds great… but it also tends to be a lot more expensive than personal accident insurance. What’s more, insurers may refuse to offer you life insurance if you have pre-existing medical conditions. Personal accident insurance is not only cheaper but easier to qualify for.
Do you currently have personal accident insurance? Tell us why or why not in the comments.