Looking for affordable, straightforward life cover for accidents only? Compare accidental death insurance
Accidental Death Insurance will provide a lump sum payment for death or injury caused by accident. This type of policy is similar to life cover however there is no benefit provided for death caused by illness or trauma conditions.
Why would I consider accidental death cover over life insurance?
Although life insurance offers more comprehensive of cover, some people consider accidental death cover for the following reasons:
- Guaranteed acceptance. If you are within a policies age of entry then you can get cover no matter what state of health you are in. This is a viable alternative for people who are unable to get life insurance.
- It can be cheaper than life insurance. As cover is more basic, you will typically pay less than most life insurance products.
- Discounts are available. Many policies will offer premium discounts on increased cover amounts and joint cover.
Is it the same as personal accident insurance?
Personal accident insurance is designed to cover injuries that occur as a result of an accident. Accidental death life insurance is generally catered towards protecting your family members in the event of you passing away, although injuries are sometimes covered.
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The age groups that are prone to accidents are the age groups 15-24 and 25-44 with the third highest and second highest causes of death being due to accidents.
|Age group||Number 1 leading cause of death||Number 2 leading cause of death||Number 3 leading cause of death|
|Age15–24||Suicide||Land transport accidents||Accidental poisoning|
|Age25–44||Suicide||Accidental poisoning||Land transport accidents|
Source: Leading causes of death, 2013, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare1
What types of accidents are Australians most prone to?
|Unintentional injuries||Percentage of all injury deaths|
|Poisoning due to pharmaceuticals||8.5%|
|Poisoning due to other substances||3.4%|
|Poisoning due to other substances||3.4%|
|Smoke, fire, heat and hot substances||0.9%|
Source: Trends in injury deaths, Australia: 1999–00 to 2009–10, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare2
Accidents can happen all the time. Its important to consider the financial position your family would be placed in if you were to suddenly pass away from an accident. Every year surviving Australian family members are left to shoulder mortgage repayments, taxes, school fees, credit card debt and everyday living expenses. Accident cover can ensure your family is left in a secure position and able to maintain their standard of living into the future.
The reduced level of underwriting required for accident only life insurance means that in comparison to life insurance, there may not be such a significant difference between the preliminary quote provided and what the applicant will actually end up paying each month. That said, this preliminary quote might be subject to change based on any significant lifestyle factors that could increase the level of risk they present to the insurer.
Some common details that are required to receive a quote:
- Age: Some age groups are statistically more likely to suffer accidental death than others i.e. Males in their 20s are more prone to accidental death than other groups.
- Gender: Similarly to age, gender can play a role in how the premium is determined based on past claims data.
- Occupation: Insurers will have different categories for occupations based on the level of risk that they carry. Applicants with high-risk occupations may be susceptible to a premium loading if the insurer deems there is an increased chance of accidental death.
- Hobbies: An underwriter may make additional assessments if the insured is involved in any potentially dangerous sports or hobbies. The insurer will usually choose to apply an additional premium loading, exclude the pastime from cover in the policy or ignore the risk and recognise it as part of the general pool of risks.
- Policy benefits: Some policies will offer additional benefits on policies for an extra cost. For example, OnePath Accident Cover Plus offers a lump sum benefit for accidental injury.
- Sum Insured: Applicants are offered a range of different levels of cover. Most policies will offer cover up to $1 million.
- Cooling off period: The cooling off period is the period of time from application that the cover can be cancelled and premiums returned to the policy owner. This is generally between 21-30 days. A shorter waiting period generally attracts an increase in premiums.
- Payment frequency: Applicants can choose to make payments on a fortnightly, monthly or annual basis.
- Joint Cover: Many policies will enable applicants to take out joint cover for their partner at the same time, attracting a premium discount. Joint policies will also only attract one set of policy fees and are generally easier to manage than having two separate policies.
Generally underwriting for accident only insurance is quite straightforward and many providers will allow for the cover to be put in force immediately. Compared to life insurance, many accidental death providers will not determine premiums based on the applicants smoking status. This is quite significant as standard life policies often charge as much as double in premiums for regular smokers.
Similarly to life cover, accidental death cover benefit payments are usually free of personal income tax. In comparison to income protection insurance, premium payments are not tax deductible. All policy owners should seek advice from a certified taxation professional when determining any tax liability on their policy.
Applicants should be clear on the policy benefits and features on offer when comparing quotes from different providers. Some common features to consider when comparing policy options include;
- Choice of cover: Amount of cover that can be taken out will usually range between $50,000 to $1,000,000.
- Guaranteed Acceptance: Many policies will not require medical underwriting or health questions to take out cover.
- Guaranteed Renewable: Many policies guarantee the policy renewal provided the premium payments are made.
- Worldwide Cover: Cover provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year anywhere in the world.
- Bed Care Benefit: Daily benefit payable if a medical practitioner certifies that the insured is confined to bed for a defined number of days. Benefit is usually capped at a maximum for each life insured under the policy.
- Accidental Injury Benefit: Provides a lump sum benefit if the insured sustains an injury covered by the policy.
- Motor Vehicle Claim Benefit: Some policies will provide an additional portion of the sum insured if the policyholder dies as a result of a car accident. As an example, Clearview Accidental Death Insurance will pay an additional 20% for motor vehicle accidents. Conditions may vary between providers.
- Indexation: Cover will automatically increase each year to keep pace with inflation.
- Premium discount: Some policies will offer a premium discount for higher levels of cover.
Conditions of policy features and benefits can vary greatly between providers so it is essential to read through the requirements on each PDS.
In comparison to life insurance where a benefit is payable for most cases of death or if the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness with less that 12 months to live, Accidental Death Insurance will only pay a benefit for accident related death.
Is accidental cover worth it?
Some of the key advantages of accidental-death insurance include:
- Cover is generally more affordable. Accidental death policies can be a suitable option for someone with a limited budget for life cover as policies are more affordable than comprehensive standalone life insurance.
- Guaranteed Acceptance. There is generally no invasive questions or any medical underwriting required to take out accident cover as pre-existing health conditions are not relevant.
- Straightforward Application Process: With a reduced level of underwriting required, the application process for accidental death cover can be quite rapid. Some providers will provide cover online in under 10 minutes.
It is critical that all applicants have a clear understanding of the exclusions for benefit payments for accidental death. Most policies will not provide a policy if death is caused by suicide or deliberate act regardless of whether or not the person is insane, war, and act of terror, civil unrest or engagement in any illegal activity. Benefit payments for motor vehicle accidents will also feature exclusions on whether or not the person was involved in illegal activity, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or in an unsafe condition.
Each policy will have different exclusions around when a benefit will actually be paid. It is critical for applicants to be aware of these to avoid any surprises at claim time.
- Those related to war, hostilities or civil unrest
- Those related to any kind of aerial descent if not a fare paying passenger on an aircraft
- Accident that has stemmed from the insureds intention or deliberate act
- If the insured was engaging in any unlawful act
- If the insured was participating or training in professional sports
- If the insured was under the influence of alcohol which exceeds the limit permitted by law or an illegal substance
Although the exact eligibility requirements to take out accidental death cover differ between insurers, most policies will usually provide cover as long as you are:
- An Australian or New Zealand citizen resident
- Permanent resident
- Between 18-75 years old (Cover usually expires once you reach a certain age, such as 90 or 100)
Other than that, there are very few restrictions that apply to policyholders. However, if you’re an adrenalin junkie who loves participating in extreme sports and adventure activities, some insurers may not accept your application.
How do I apply for an accidental death policy?
It’s quick and easy to apply for accidental death insurance cover online. Simply fill out an online application form with the following details:
- The life insured. You’ll need to provide your full name and contact details.
- The policy owner. In most cases, this is the same person as the life insured.
- Your pastimes. Some insurers will ask you a few questions about your hobbies and pastimes to help develop a clearer risk profile.
- Your beneficiaries. The insurer will need to receive the details of your beneficiaries who will receive a benefit in the event of your accidental death.
- Your payment details. Finally, provide your credit card or bank account details to cover your premium payments.
Once your application has been submitted, the insurer will process it and contact you as soon as possible (usually within 72 hours) to advise you whether your application has been accepted or if more information is required.
Providers do have the ability in increase premium rates at any time of the policy. It is illegal for insurance providers to increase premiums on one specific policy by singling out an individual for an increase. Any adjustment to the premium rate will be applied across policies in a defined group and policy owners will usually be given a months notice of the increase in writing.
Premiums may be subject to increase from any new or increased government charges or taxes introduced.
You can receive quotes on a number of different policies by safely submitting your details via the online enquiry form. Your details will be referred to a certified insurance consultant who will discuss possible policy options and provide you with a preliminary quote based on the details provided. A consultant will answer any questions that you might have on the policy terms and conditions.
Once you have found a policy that matches your needs, you can begin organising the necessary paperwork for the application. An insurance consultant can assist you through the process by helping you gather and submit the paperwork on time.