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Understanding personal accident insurance

Making a claim for personal injury if you're in a car accident

A woman holding her neck. In the background is two cars that have crashed into one another

If you've been driving for a number of years you've probably had a few near misses where you've thought – that could've been really nasty. If you are ever involved in a serious accident, personal accident cover can help with the financial fallout.

Safety first on the roads

Car technology and safety features are making our roads safer, but accidents still happen every day.

In 2015 there were over 1,700 people killed on roads in Great Britain and 22,137 seriously injured.

Being caught up in a serious road traffic accident can have devastating physical consequences that can then impact your finances.

What is personal accident cover?

Personal accident cover, also known as personal injury cover, is often included in your comprehensive car insurance policy as standard. It pays out if you and sometimes your partner as well, die or are seriously injured as a result of a car accident.

How does personal accident cover work?

If you're seriously injured or you die in an accident that was not your fault, you or your family can claim compensation from the driver who was at fault. The amount you can claim usually depends in the severity of your injury.

You should also be able to claim for other out of pocket expenses, like loss of earnings and medical fees that relate to your injury. You may need help from a solicitor to claim these costs back from the driver who was at fault.

However, if you injure yourself in an accident that was your fault, you'll need to have personal accident cover as part of your car insurance to be able to claim compensation.

The amount you receive following an accident depends on the limit of the cover and sometimes on the severity of your injury.

Different insurance companies have different maximum amounts they pay out, but a standard pay out would be £5,000 to £10,000.

Now if you or your partner seriously hurt yourselves, this may not be enough to pay for rehabilitation treatment, adjustments to your home or car, or to replace lost income.

Additional personal accident cover increases the maximum limit that your insurer pays out. With LV= that amount is £100,000.

What can I claim for?

Personal accident cover is there to provide financial help in the worst circumstances. It will only pay out if you die as a result of the car crash or you are very seriously injured.

Injuries covered by the insurance can include:

  • Permanent loss of a limb or loss of use of a limb
  • Permanent and total loss of hearing in one or both ears
  • Permanent and total loss of sight in one or both eyes
  • Permanent total disability

Personal accident cover is there to provide financial help in the worst circumstances.

When can't I make a claim?

Personal accident cover won't pay out for minor bumps and scrapes, or even broken bones. You need to sustain a life-changing injury to make a claim.

There are also certain circumstances that can invalidate a claim. These can include:

  • Drink driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or prescription medicine
  • Suicide or attempted suicide
  • Not wearing a seatbelt

What to do at the scene of a car accident

If you're seriously hurt in a road traffic accident, then of course your priority is to get medical help. Those around you who are less injured will be able to call the emergency services.

It's a serious offence to fail to report a road traffic accident where a person or animal is injured or where vehicles or property have been damaged.

Collect as much information about the accident as you can. With serious accidents, the emergency services are usually involved, so the police will be able to help with the circumstances of the crash and there will be a record of your medical treatment.

When you are able to, call your insurance company. They will guide you through making a claim.

Buying LV= car insurance is quick and easy