Key Differences between Health Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance

The idea of getting into an accident is frightening, as well as the idea of having to leave your family behind in a worst-case scenario. Life is unpredictable after all, and anything can happen in the blink of an eye. Signing up for an insurance plan is a good way to prepare yourself and your family for the challenges you might meet along the way. In exchange for a premium, your insurance can provide you and your loved ones’ health, hospitalization, and even death benefits.

Man in hospital

There are many types of insurance plans in the market these days, and choosing the right one—before you need it—can be a difficult task. If your health is one of your top concerns, you might be looking into getting either health insurance or personal accident insurance. Which of these two is the better option for you?

Health vs Personal accident insurance

At first glance, a health insurance plan and a personal accident plan may seem similar in that both are concerned with the human body. However, their definitions are clearly different.

A health insurance policy covers expenses due to hospitalization and medical procedures caused by illness or injury, including accidents. A personal accident policy, on the other hand, has more narrow coverage. The beneficiaries of this policy can only get their benefits in the event of accidental deaths and permanent or partial disability due to an accident. Keep reading to learn more about the difference between the two. And if you’d like to learn more about Insurance, you might want to check out this post on what is insurance and how it works. It covers all the basics.

Medical coverage

A health insurance policy offers comprehensive financial coverage of any medical expenses due to all sorts of illnesses, injuries, and other medical conditions. It provides wider coverage as it includes a myriad of possible medical circumstances. A personal accident policy also covers medical bills, but only those that arise from accidental injuries.

woman in hospital

Pre- and Post-hospitalization Coverage

Pre-hospitalization includes expenses that arise from any illness or medical condition 30 days before the insured person is hospitalized, while post-hospitalization covers expenses that occur due to illnesses or medical conditions 60 days after hospital discharge.

A health insurance policy covers both pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, but only for a certain number of days. A personal accident policy does not cover pre- and post-hospitalization expenses; it only takes care of medical expenses from treating injuries due to an accident.

Disability Expenses

Accidents are so unpredictable and can often cause such severe damage that it can cause disabilities. Insurance policies refer to these injuries as permanent total/partial disability and temporary total/partial disability.

A health insurance policy provides no coverage against any disabilities caused by accidents, but a personal accident policy provides cover for disabilities caused by accidents. The disabilities, however, are only covered up to a specific percentage of the insured sum.

Hospital disabled wing

Death Coverage

No one likes thinking about their own death, but it is as inevitable and as unpredictable as accidents, so many insurance companies include this coverage in their policies. The sudden death of a loved one causes a heavy burden on families, emotionally as well as financially, so a death coverage can be helpful with financial adversity at the very least.

A health insurance policy does not provide any coverage against sudden death, as death is typically covered by life insurance. A personal accident policy covers against accidental death and turns over 100% of the assured sum to your nominee and/or beneficiary.


Riders boost the benefits of an insurance policy. Though some riders may be automatically available with some policies, you should still ask your insurance providers what your options are so you could choose wisely. These are the various riders that often go with these two different policies:

  • Health insurance policy – critical illness cover, hospital cash cover, room rent waiver, personal accident cover, and top up/super top cover
  • Personal accident policy – hospitalization expenses, broken bones, hospital daily cash, child education benefit, and ambulance allowance


There are clear differences between these 2 types of insurance, and they fit different needs. Before you sign up for any plan or policy, make absolutely sure that you have read the black and white carefully, and that you’ve clarified the finer details with the insurance company. By exercising due diligence now, you’re ensuring that you and your family have the resources and support you need when health issues arise.


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