Working in an office seems safe in theory. You spend 40 hours a week in a comfortable, carpeted room, away from physical danger. What is the worst that could happen? What kind of accidents can you possibly get into at work?
Accidents still happen in offices, more often than you think. According to the US Center of Disease Control (CDC)1, office workers are around 2 times more likely to suffer an injury from falls, due to:
• Slipping on wet floors
• Reaching for something while sitting on an unstable chair
• Tripping over loose carpeting, electrical cords, an open file drawer, or objects in walkways
• Using a chair to reach for something, instead of a ladder
• Poor lighting or visibility
Office accident statistics aside, even when you take great care not to trip or fall at work, anything can happen once you are out of the office. In 2018, the Singapore Police Force2 reported 7,690 road accidents that led to injuries. Additionally, a total of 36 people died in fatal road accidents during the first 4 months of 20183.
At best, these accidents might not be serious enough to require hospitalisation. However, if the accident results in you needing crutches to walk or outpatient treatments like Traditional Chinese Medicine, you would have to pay for these out of pocket. Health insurance plans generally do not cover outpatient medical expenses caused by an accident.
At worst, some accidents might lead to temporary or permanent disability, causing you to miss work while you recover or be unable to perform your job altogether.
Perhaps it is time to rethink the safety of desk-bound jobs. In line with Murphy’s Law, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”, accidents are not an “if”, but a “when”. When unfortunate events happen, a personal accident (PA) plan cushions the financial blow of medical bills and lost wages.
A personal accident plan protects you from medical bills and loss of income that arise from an accident. Most accidents cause injuries that result in short or long-term disabilities and treatment. In extreme cases, accidents cause permanent disability or death.
Whatever the outcome, a personal accident plan shields you from all these expenses.
Save money on outpatient expenses
Not all accidents result in the loss of life or permanent disability. Consider this scenario: you trip on a wire at the office and sprain your ankle. Your injury is not severe enough for you to be hospitalised. However, you face difficulty walking and can barely even stand.
You visit your local general practitioner (GP) and he conducts an X-Ray. He then informs you that you are going to need crutches as well as physiotherapy for the next four weeks.
The cost of your local GP consultation amounts to S$80, while the cost of physiotherapy is S$750 for four weeks. If you had an accident plan, you might not need to pay for all expenses out of pocket as some of these costs can be claimed.
Most accidents are as uncomplicated as the situation above. In those situations, you can save a significant amount on the medical fees required for your recovery if you purchased an accident plan.
Save money on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) or chiropractic care
Consider another instance: the cleaning aunty in your office just mopped the hallway. While rushing for an important meeting, you slip and land on your butt. As you try to get up, you suddenly feel a sharp pain in your back.
Although you can still walk, you feel a constant sharp pain on your back. You are worried and visit a chiropractor. The consultation alone costs around S$90 and thereafter, you require five sessions amounting to S$375.
As in the previous scenario, the S$465 chiropractor fees are claimable if you have a personal accident plan.
Receive income benefits while you recover
Let’s say an accident left you with a fractured leg, and you need to take 4 weeks off work to recover. Doing so will mean using up all your medical leaves, resulting in a major salary deduction.
A personal accident plan can give you a weekly cash benefit to help offset any lost wages caused by your injury. While it will not cover 100% of your salary, this amount can help your family cope with daily expenses until you get back on your feet.
Unlike a life insurance plan, which requires you to be totally and permanently disabled before giving a payout, personal accident insurance covers any kind of disability. Even if you did not lose a limb or your eyesight, you will be covered as long as the accident made you temporarily unfit to work.
Pretty much any office worker can benefit from having a personal accident plan, but they’re especially useful if…
You have family relying on your income
If you are the sole breadwinner of the family or have children and elderly parents relying on your income, you need an accident plan.
In the scenarios above, we talked about how you can get income benefits from injuries that leave you temporarily unable to work. In addition to covering medical expenses, you also get a payout if the accident causes a long-term debilitating condition like permanent loss of sight, which makes you unable to do your job.
No matter what happens to you, an accident plan helps you take care of your family’s basic needs, on top of covering medical fees.
Your parents will not be able to help you financially in case of an accident
Simple things like ambulance services, mobility aids, and outpatient treatments can cost up to the thousands and will not be claimable by your health insurance. These costs get compounded if your injuries land you in the hospital.
If your parents won’t be able to help you financially, you should seriously consider protecting yourself from medical expenses in case any accidents arise. Most plans cover outpatient care, but you may want to consider one that can also give a hospital cash benefit. This goes a long way in offsetting expenses in case you get hospitalised.
You work out or do sports
Like many Singaporeans, you probably have a gym membership, go running after work, or participate in team sports. Did you know that accident plans also cover medical costs that arise from sports injuries?
While extreme sports like skydiving are generally excluded, an accident plan will take care of outpatient medical expenses for sprains, broken limbs, and other injuries caused by everyday physical activity.
You ride a motorbike
Basic motorbike insurance only covers damage to your motorcycle or property in case of an accident. But what happens if you get injured during a motorbike crash?
That is when a personal accident plan comes in. As with walking around the office and doing sports, your PA insurance covers medical fees in case you get injured during a motorbike accident. Considering that motorcyclists in Singapore are highly vulnerable to road accidents, it’s essential to get covered for medical expenses in case anything unexpected happens while you ride.
Accidents can happen even if you work in the safest office space. When they do occur, you can cushion its financial blow with a plan like Manulife ReadyProtect.
With this plan, you enjoy a medical refund for medical care received in case of accidents, including ambulance fees, mobility aids, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. You also get covered for up to 21 infectious diseases, and if you are a victim of an act of terrorism.
In the worst case scenario, you can get a payout ranging from S$50,000 to S$1 million for accidental death and dismemberment, and twice this figure in case the accident occurs in public transport.
You can also add on optional benefits like income support, which gives you a benefit if you are unable to work because of an accident, and a daily hospitalisation cash benefit. If you have children, it may be worth considering the child care benefit, which gives a lump-sum education benefit to your child in case you pass away due to an accident.
Do not wait until you take a fall or hit by a vehicle before getting financial protection from the unexpected. Speak with one of our financial representative today to learn more about how personal accident plans can benefit you and your family.
Terms and Conditions apply.
These insurance products are underwritten by Manulife (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (Reg. No. 198002116D). This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment. There may be high costs involved if you terminate the policy early, and your policy's surrender value (if any) may be zero or less than the total premiums paid. Buying health insurance products that are unsuitable for you may affect your ability to finance your future healthcare needs. This article is for your information only and does not consider your specific investment objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not a contract of insurance and is not intended as an offer or recommendation to purchase the plan. You can find the full terms and conditions, details, and exclusions for the mentioned insurance product(s) in the policy contract.
This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the LIA or SDIC web-sites (www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg).
We recommend that you seek advice from a Manulife Financial Consultant or its Appointed Distributors before making a commitment to purchase a policy.
1. (2019, Nov) Employer-Reported Workplace Injury and Illness, 2018. Retrieved from United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/osh.nr0.htm
2. (2019) Annual Road Traffic Accident Situation 2018 and Launch of Use Your Roadsense Campaign 2019. Retrieved from Singapore Police Force. https://www.police.gov.sg/~/media/20190221_annualroadtrafficaccidentsituation2018.pdf
3. (2019, April) 38 People Killed in Road Accidents This Year: Police. Retrieved from Channel News Asia. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/fatal-traffic-accidents-increase-police-10178386