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What is personal accident cover and do I need it?

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Personal accident insurance pays out if you suffer a serious injury or die as a result of a car accident. It can also cover you if you become totally and permanently disabled.

Personal injury insurance policies usually pay a fixed amount of money for specific injuries. Depending on the level of cover, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Here’s more detail on personal accident cover, what it covers, and how to ensure it’s the right policy for you.

A driver has hurt his neck after a car accident

The type of accident you're covered for varies depending on the insurer. You should always check the specific wording in the policy.

Claims can normally be made for the following reasons:

  • Death
  • Total disablement
  • Permanent or total loss of sight in 1 or both eyes
  • Permanent or total loss of hearing in 1 or both ears
  • Permanent loss of any limb above the wrist or ankle
  • Permanent loss of use of any limb above the wrist or ankle

What isn't covered on a personal accident policy?

You may not be covered under these circumstances:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
  • Not wearing your seatbelt
  • Taking part in a race or rally
  • If the accident was self-inflicted

These can circumstances vary. Always check the terms and conditions of your policy.

It's not a legal requirement. It depends on your circumstances including how much you can afford and your attitude to risk. It's worth checking your current insurance policy to see if it's already included.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you got enough savings if you’re out of work for an extended period?
  • Do you have any income protection policies that may kick in?
  • Should you not survive the accident, do you have adequate life insurance?
  • The amount of cover you need depends upon your financial circumstances such as your regular income and any outgoings.
  • It’s also worth checking if you already have this cover if you have a life insurance policy.
  • What doesn’t personal accident insurance cover against?

You may have personal accident cover included with your car insurance, but it depends on the policy and your insurer. It's best to double-check your policy documents. Accident cover fees can range from £5,000 to as much as £100,000, it's down to your preference.

Some comprehensive car insurance policies don’t include personal accident protection, some offer it as a bolt-on.


You can buy personal accident cover as a standalone policy or it may come as part of an existing policy, such as your car insurance.

The cost depends upon a lot of different factors. These can include your age, lifestyle, profession, and address. Costs can start from as little as £10 bolt on to your policy.

It’s important to shop around and to compare prices. Make sure you’re not only choosing the most appropriate policy for you but that it’s at the best price possible.


Personal accident cover

If you've decided a personal accident policy is right for you, make sure you pay particular attention to the small print of the policy. This is so you know exactly what you're getting. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s covered?
  • What’s excluded?
  • Does the cover have any limits?
  • Are any other family members included on the policy?
  • Where is the policy is valid? - It may just be in the UK or you could be covered out of the country

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