Personal accident cover

Why is personal accident cover important?

While responsible drivers do everything they can to avoid car accidents, sometimes they're unavoidable. And when they do occur, accidents can have a huge impact on the lives of those involved — emotionally, physically and financially.

According to provisional statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT), 22,830 people were involved in serious accidents on UK roads in the year ending June 2015. Of those, 1,700 were fatalities. During the same period, there were also 180,500 road casualties.

It's better to plan for the unexpected rather than ignore the risk altogether. Personal accident cover offers financial compensation for a range of injuries to help you and others recover. You get £5,000 of personal accident cover included as standard with a comprehensive Hastings Direct or Hastings Premier policy but enhanced personal accident cover provides a greater level of protection for you and your passengers in the event of a car accident.

Common injuries

Injuries sustained from a car accident can be life-changing; not just for the person involved but also for their friends and family. The severity of injuries depends on lots of things, for example speed, seatbelt use, what the car made contact with, and the safety features of the cars involved.

According to road safety charity Brake, the most common injuries sustained from car accidents are:

Facial injuries
These could include cuts or punctures to the skin, broken bones (such as noses and jaws), and eye injuries resulting in blindness or partial blindness.
Spinal injuries
Road accidents account for the largest cause of spinal cord injuries on a global scale. During a car accident it's possible for spinal nerves below the area of injury to become partially or fully cut off from the brain, which can lead to paralysis of limbs or areas of the body.
Head injuries
Around one million people visit A&E departments every year with a form of brain trauma and road incidents account for 40-50% of all brain injuries. Those suffering from head trauma sometimes find their memory or speech is affected.
Internal organs
The impact of a car collision can cause serious damage to vital organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys and abdomen. It's also possible to suffer from internal bleeding.
Limb loss
Serious incidents can also result in the loss of an arm or leg, which can seriously affect quality of life for the sufferer.

What's important is that you consider not just how you would personally cope if you were involved in a car accident, but how those close to you would cope. For instance, your injuries might require you to take time off work and your income might come to a halt; this could be extremely stressful if you have dependents. Enhanced Personal accident cover provides financial support to help you and those close to you cope in the aftermath of a car crash.

If you're a younger driver you might assume that enhanced personal accident cover isn't necessary. However, given that young drivers are most likely to be involved in a car crash, having that extra level of cover could prove wise.

Hastings Direct enhanced personal accident cover

Our standard policies cover you, your spouse or civil partner for up to £5,000 in any one insured period (applicable to drivers aged under 75). You and your passengers are also entitled to claim compensation for an accident in which another driver was at fault.

Our enhanced personal accident cover is provided through Canopious and offers protection for injuries that you or any of your passengers sustain as a result of a car accident.

A total of £20,000 benefit is payable for each person in the car, up to a total of £140,000 for any of the following:

  • Accidental death (limited to £7,500 for drivers or passengers aged under 16)
  • Loss of sight in one or both eyes
  • Loss of one or more limbs
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of speech
  • Permanent total disability.

Personal accident cover also offers protection for drivers and passengers in the event of a road rage incident or car jacking, which is when a car is unlawfully stolen or seized through violence or force. The benefits include:

  • £100 per day hospital cash benefit in the event of an assault
  • Emergency dental treatment up to £250 for assault (£25 excess)
  • Five sessions of stress counselling following a claim of bodily injury.

The personal accident cover does not provide protection for:

  • Drivers or passengers aged over 79
  • Any injured person who is not normally a resident in the UK
  • Any injured person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Any injured person who has a pre-existing medical condition
  • If the car is being used for racing competitions, rallies, trails or speed testing.

Unpleasant as it may be to imagine being in a car accident, it's worth considering. With enhanced personal accident, you can rest assured that you'll have financial support if the worst happens.

Full terms and conditions of our personal accident cover can be found in our additional products booklet.

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