The difference between health insurance and accident insurance is rather straight forward. A health insurance policy will ensure that the policyholder is covered and protected in the event of a hospitalization. This hospitalization may be caused due to a variety of reasons like critical illness, non-critical illness, accidents, etc. The health insurance company is obligated to provide coverage in such cases.
An Accident insurance policy will only kick-in if the policyholder has met with an accident and requires medical treatment for the same. The accident insurance policy will not provide coverage if the policyholder is hospitalized for any other reason apart from an accident.
Let us understand this with the help of three simple examples.
Example 1: Let us assume that Mrs. Jyoti bought an accident insurance policy for herself. A few months after this, she was diagnosed with diabetes and required treatment for the same. In this case, the insurance company will not initiate a claim as the diabetes didn’t occur due to an accident.
Example 2: Similarly, let us assume that Mrs. Navika bought a comprehensive health insurance plan with accidental insurance coverage. A few months later, she met with an accident and had to be hospitalized. Since she bought a comprehensive health insurance plan, the insurance company is obligated to protect her by disbursing her claim amount.
Example 3: Lastly, let us assume that Mrs. Nayonica bought an accident insurance policy and later met with an accident. In this case, the insurance company will issue the claim amount and protect the interest of the policyholder as she is covered against unforeseen accidents.
Let us now understand some of the notable differences between health insurance and accident insurance.
Will provide coverage during general illness as well as accidental hospitalizations. However, the policyholder must ensure that an accidental insurance clause is mentioned in the policy bond. Generally, most comprehensive health insurance policies have an accident component within it.
An accidental insurance policy will only cover hospitalizations that have occurred due to accidents.
A health insurance plan generally has a waiting period component within it. For instance, some health insurance plans will only start coverage towards critical illnesses after a month of waiting period.
Generally, there is no waiting period in an accident insurance policy.
Add-ons or riders
Yes, you can buy add-ons or riders along with a health insurance plan
Yes, you can also buy add-ons or riders along with an accident insurance plan
Yes, health insurance plans may cover maternity, if the policy bond mentions it.
No, accident insurance does not have the scope to cover maternity benefits.
Ideally, a person should be covered against general illnesses, critical illnesses, as well as accidents. All three bases should be covered, only then a policyholder is truly protected.
Frequently asked questions
Generally, yes, a comprehensive health insurance policy will have an accident component within it. If it does not, then the policyholder should buy an accidental rider and cover himself against accidents.
Yes, both types of policies are widely available and easily accessible.
Most insurance companies that provide a general health insurance plan also provide accident insurance policies.