Most fully comprehensive car insurance policies will include a level of personal accident cover, but it is also available as an optional add-on if your policy doesn't include it.
As with any insurance add-ons, you need to consider whether it is worth the extra money. We'll help you do that, and help you find the right policy accordingly.
In This Guide:
- What is personal accident cover?
- Do I need personal injury cover on my car insurance?
- Are there any restrictions?
- Can I invalidate my personal accident cover?
- How much does personal accident cover cost?
- Medical expenses
What is personal accident cover?
Personal accident cover pays out to provide a level of compensation in the event that a driver (or a family member/passenger) is involved in an accident that either results in serious injury, including but not limited to one that leads to permanent disability or death.
A payout can be used to cover medical expenses, as well as to replace income that you would lose as a result of being unable to work because of your injury.
Most fully comprehensive car insurance policies include personal accident insurance (also referred to as personal injury cover), while third party policies tend not to. Similar cover is also associated with life insurance policies.
How do personal injury claims work?
In the event of an accident that causes a qualifying injury, the payout will come from the insurance policy of whichever party is at fault.
The compensation payment can then be delivered either as a lump sum, or paid in regular instalments. The size of the payout will depend on the nature of the injury - insurance companies will generally have fixed amounts they pay for different categories of harms.
Do I need personal injury cover on my car insurance?
If you're involved in a car accident and suffer from a serious injury as a result that impacts your ability to work and keep up with yours and/or your family's day-to-day expenses, personal accident insurance can provide important peace of mind.
Making sure you have the right level of cover in place means that your dependents aren't left with an added financial burden at what would already be a difficult time. As with any kind of insurance, you'll need to weigh this up against any added costs, but personal accident cover won't usually add much to your overall car insurance premiums.
If you have fully comprehensive cover, you will almost certainly already have a degree of personal injury insurance, but you may be able to extend it to increase a payout limit. If you have third party, or third party, fire and theft cover, then you'll need to take it out as an extra. It's worth weighing up the cost of these combined policies with a standard fully comp plan, as it may make more financial sense to get the latter.
Are there any restrictions?
Personal accident cover insures you in the event of any personal injury sustained in an accident, but there are some important restrictions and circumstances to be mindful of.
A few conditions as standard to be aware of are:
- The age restrictions on your policy – some companies may not provide cover for the elderly.
- You may only be covered for driving in the UK, and not in other countries.
- Many standard policies will only cover for up to £10,000 for serious injuries or death. If you want greater cover then you should filter this as imperative when you compare car insurance quotes.
Can I invalidate my personal accident cover?
Yes, quite possibly - be sure to read the fine print as there’s certainly a few general conditions. Your personal injury cover will become invalidated if you’re driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if you don’t wear a seatbelt. This is no surprise and is like any other insurance policy.
Likewise, you won’t be able to claim if you’re driving without a valid licence. We don’t just mean expiration or vehicle type, but also your address. This one’s more of a warning to Generation Rent who may be moving addresses frequently – your licence becomes invalid if it doesn’t match what’s on your policy and as you must always tell your provider of any changes. You also won’t be covered if you’re taking part in extreme sports such as race-car driving or rally-driving.
Lastly, you’ll also invalidate your cover if you intend to cause an accident or inflict harm on yourself or another person: intentionally self-inflicted injuries will not be covered.
How much does personal accident cover cost?
Costs vary based on a number of factors, from the length of your policy, your medical history and age, and any previous claims you have made. It's always a good idea to scour the market to get a good idea of what kinds of plans are available that suit your needs, giving you the level of cover you feel comfortable with.
If you take out personal injury cover, your medical expense limits are much higher. We’re fortunate in the UK to have the NHS, meaning we don’t face the same difficulties surrounding medical bills as people in some other countries do. However, we’re all familiar with long waiting lists and referral processes, which can impact on our personal lives both mentally and physically. Having medical expenses covered to a higher limit is advantageous in seeking private support for both physical injuries and mental impact.
Remember, the insurance claim will go to the provider of the at-fault driver in the accident. So just be aware, as many companies can take different lengths of times to process claims which we understand can be frustrating, especially when your health is at stake. Using our car insurance comparison tool for personal accident cover will smooth the search process and can give you the best cover for the best cost.