Financial Services > Protection > Sickness & Accident


Personal accident insurance can be bought in isolation or extended to include sickness, but a sickness-only policy is not available. 

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The personal accident element will pay a lump sum in the event of accidental death, an accident which leads to loss of sight or limbs and smaller amounts for loss of individual fingers or toes subject to an overall maximum if there should also be permanent total disability.

To save money, some insurers reduce the scope of cover by insisting the disability must be something that prevents you carrying on any work at all - rather than the more comprehensive alternative which is a disability preventing you from carrying on your usual occupation.

A weekly benefit is also available for up to 104 weeks either in the event of total disability from carrying on work, or partial disability.

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If you extend the policy to cover sickness, then the weekly benefits can also be paid for the same length of time if the sickness should cause the same inability to work. Whereas the personal accident benefit is payable immediately there is usually a waiting period of at least one week before the sickness benefits becomes payable.

These policies have the benefit of being relatively cheap but they are annual contracts that the insurer has the right to change at renewal date. This means they can increase the premium or the waiting period to reflect adverse claims experience on other policies or your own.

Even worse than this, the insurer is able to exclude some types of claim completely, and so if you sustain an injury or an illness which is likely to leave a long-term susceptibility to further episodes of that injury or illness, it is probable that the insurers would exclude all future claims at the first available renewal date.