Step up to the plate with accident insurance


Step up to the plate with accident insurance

What’s more stereotypically American than a summer afternoon at the baseball field, watching your budding all-star in action?

The cheers and chants, the satisfying “whump” of a ball hitting a leather glove, the popcorn, the sprained ankles …

Oh, you didn’t see “sprained ankle” in the program?

Too bad, because sprains and dislocations are the most common reason for accident insurance claims, according to Colonial Life records. And the bill to treat it won’t be just peanuts. The average emergency room visit now costs more than $2,000. If you’ve got a high-deductible health insurance plan, you could be stuck paying the entire bill out of pocket.

That’s where accident insurance enters the line-up. It pays benefits to help with the costs of an unexpected injury, such as a sprain, dislocation, fracture, cut or burn. The payments go straight to you so you can use the money however you need: to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, or other costs not covered by insurance, such as transportation or even a babysitter while you go to medical appointments. And most accident plans don’t “coordinate” with your other insurance, so your benefit payments aren’t reduced by other coverage you may have.

“If you or your children have active lifestyles — playing sports, taking dance classes, riding bikes, exercising, hiking — accident insurance is worth considering,” says Steve Hesler, assistant vice president in product development at Colonial Life. “For most of America’s workers, there’s a significant gap between an unexpected medical bill and what they have on hand in savings for emergencies.”

Even for the less adventurous, accidents happen … a lot. In fact, nearly 40 million Americans seek medical help for injuries every year, according to the National Safety Council.

You may be able to get accident insurance at work as a voluntary or supplemental choice in your benefits package. If not, ask your HR department to offer it. As a voluntary benefit, the employees who want the protection pay for it themselves, so there’s no cost to your employer. And it’s usually very affordable: $5 – $8 a week for coverage for accidents outside of work, depending on the number of family members covered (costs vary by plan and state).

Don’t get caught off base when it comes to protecting your family’s financial wellbeing. Accident insurance may be the protection you need to get you — and your wallet — safely cross home plate.