Coverage can help take the financial sting out of summer mishaps
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Summer kicks off a time of family barbecues and outdoor fun, but for leading benefits provider Unum (NYSE: UNM) it also is a time for something else – accident claims.
During summer, the company sees close to a 20 percent increase in accident claims for emergency room visits, follow-up treatments and fractures and lacerations. For the last two years, the number of accident-related claim payments during summer has averaged close to 15 percent higher than any other time of year for Unum.
“While no one can predict how or when an accident will occur, individuals and families can be financially impaired by one — even if they have solid medical insurance,” explains Debbie Cecil, director of product development at Unum. “And this benefit is paid in addition to other core coverages, so there are no offsets to existing medical coverages. That’s another reason why financial protection benefits such as accident and disability insurance are so important and are growing in popularity.”
Eastbridge Consulting Group reports that accident insurance sales in the workplace were up 14 percent across the industry in 2011. Unum’s accident sales have grown about 20 percent in each of the past four years.
According to Cecil, the ease of enrollment, including the fact that accident insurance is “guaranteed issue,” meaning there aren’t any health questions at the time of enrollment, could contribute to the growing popularity of this type of coverage. And at a time when 42 percent of American workers say they live paycheck to paychecki accident insurance can help lessen the financial burden of an unplanned expense.
“Some of the most common accident claim payments we see include emergency room services, follow up treatments, doctor visits, fractures, hospital services and physical therapy,” Cecil said. “These medical events can really drain a family’s bank account. If a family has accident insurance, however, they are given a lump sum payment that can be used as needed to help soften the financial impact of these types of incidents.” Cecil also notes the affordability of this type of insurance. “One claim can often repay the annual premium.”
Accident insurance benefits vary according to the defined injury – from sport-related to catastrophic events – and typically include benefits for follow-up doctor’s visits, emergency room treatment, hospitalization and surgery benefits and physical therapy. Catastrophic events are also covered by accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
An additional benefit to accident insurance is the inclusion of wellness options. These options can encourage healthy choices that can lead to better outcomes and lower health care costs.
In March, Unum introduced a group accident product with something new to the market - multiple benefit level choices – including the ability to tailor benefit amounts or eliminate specific benefits. This can help an employer meet their health plan objectives and their employees’ needs.
In the past five years, Unum has paid more than $40 million in benefits for more than 56,000 accident claims.
Group accident not available in NY, MN, VT.
Unum (www.unum.com) is one of the leading providers of employee benefits products and services in the United States and the United Kingdom.
iCareerBuilder.com, nationwide survey of more than 5,200 workers, August, 2011
Dawn McAbee, 423-294-1892
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