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Do not confuse income protection and personal accident protection. Personal accident policies tend to pay out a lump sum, compared to monthly payments under an income protection policy.

The aim is to find the best value-for-money cover, not the cheapest. A cheap policy may offer "budget” cover: with limitations and restrictions. A " budget " cover may be all you need, which is fine if you understand what you do and do not have protection against

It is not critical illness insurance. Critical Illness (CI) insurance pays out a lump sum if you suffer one of a number of specific medical problems, such as a heart attack, cancer or stroke. The definition of accident varies hugely.

Neither Personal Accident nor Critical illness would pay out for stress, depression or back problems.

If you have or suspect you have a medical condition, a history of problems, or are in a job, which is not acceptable to insurers, then there is a huge temptation to avoid telling the insurer this information.

Even if they do not specifically ask a question relating to something, which could be a problem, you must tell them. Insurers are very tough on people who fail to tell the whole story. If found out, they will certainly refuse to pay all or part of the claim, and may even prosecute you for attempted fraud.

" Non-disclosure" could lead to a claim being denied, just when you need the money the most.

Mention any and all aspects of your medical history, and leave the insurer to decide which are trivial and which are important.

If they have a query on a possible problem they may seek to increase the premium or impose limitations on cover.

If during the term of your policy you change occupation, you must usually tell the insurer. If you were a shop assistant when taking the cover out, but are a roofer or fireman when you claim, insurers will not pay up.

A lot depends on what you want to cover and why.

In other classes of health insurance, policies from one provider can be very similar to those from a competitor. In personal accident policies there is a huge variety of products from a relatively small number of providers.

Personal Accident is an area where there are no official insurance body committees trying to dictate wordings and cover, so every provider goes their own way. 

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Personal accident insurance guide

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