Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, every 10 minutes, 885 Americans suffered an injury severe enough to seek medical attention, according to the National Safety Council. With many living paycheck-to-paycheck, millions of Americans struggled to pay bills not covered by their health insurance.
Since the spread of the pandemic, not only are more people staying home, they’re also engaged in more high-risk, accident prone do-it-yourself projects, a Unum survey found. A June survey of 1,000 U.S. adults revealed 41% have increased their exercise and physical activities, 30% are using power tools and sharp objects, and 21% have been climbing ladders more often. In addition, 52% said they have been cleaning indoors and moving furniture and 44% are doing more yard work.
“Eleven percent said they have had an accident that required medical attention since March, with younger adults more likely to see that medical treatment,” said Ashley Shope, Unum assistant vice president of product and market development.
The types of high-risk activities Americans are engaging in during the pandemic are different than those reported in a typical year, Shope said. “In other years, you would see a lot of incidents arising from children participating in organized sports. We’re seeing about the same number of incidents as we would in a typical year, but just different types of claims.”
According to Unum claims data over the last five years (2014-2019), the most frequently paid benefits include:
- Physician follow up
- Emergency treatment
- Medical imaging
- Medical equipment for mobility
Shope said the injuries that occur from these types of activities underscore the need for accident insurance. Accident insurance can help ease the financial pressure caused by out-of-pocket expenses and pay a benefit directly to the individual for urgent care visits, emergency room treatment, fractures or dislocations, and X-rays.
“With the pandemic ongoing, this highlights the financial fragility so many Americans face, whether it’s having limited savings or it’s high deductibles on health insurance plans,” she said.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
© Entire contents copyright 2020 by InsuranceNewsNet.com Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted without the expressed written consent from InsuranceNewsNet.com.