Accident insurance is typically a supplemental medical policy. It pays benefits when people require medical care for accidental injury. People sometimes confuse accident insurance with accidental death coverage, which is a type of life insurance. This is a specialty health insurance product.
It is coverage that pays benefits to help cover medical care following unexpected injury. Unlike Workers Comp, it can cover both and off the job events. Some employers offer it as an option on a menu of benefits to help employees get the type and amount of coverage they desire.
It is popular with parents, because children can do unpredictable things, young adults who are very active, and older people who may be prone to falls. Really, anyone can have an unexpected accident, so anyone can desire this kind of coverage. But some people know they are at greater risk, thus they seek it out.
People often misunderstand what this insurance covers. In a nutshell, in order to get benefits, two things must happen: 1) There must be a covered event — in other words, an accident of the sort specified by the policy — and 2) there must also be medical treatment for that event.
This is a space where there is no real standard. These policies can differ substantially from one company to another. It is important to read brochures from different companies or even read the policy if possible to get an idea of what the coverage includes.
This will vary from policy to policy, but often includes benefits for an initial exam, specific types of injuries and specific types of treatments, such as surgery. There may also be benefits for follow up visits, physical therapy and hospitalization.