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Accident insurance: not just for slips on banana peels

It can be challenging to understand all the benefits available in the workplace. And if you’re not an expert at group supplemental health insurance benefits, including accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity, you’re not alone. This article, which is the first in a three-part series, will focus on accident insurance and provide helpful insights.

Accident insurance provides cash payments for injuries covered under a policy. The funds can be used to help cover expenditures such as deductibles, out-of-pocket medical costs or everyday living expenses. And in an economy where 63 percent of workers are unable to pay a $500 emergency expense,1 having an additional lump sum to offset costs not covered by major medical, at a very cost-effective premium rate, can be a true game changer for employees.

“Standard” accident insurance often covers items such as fractures, ER treatment, ambulance, dislocations, initial and follow-up doctor visits, and other minor injuries. Additional benefits can be added to a program, including pet boarding, dependent parent care, mental health support, multiple types of rehab therapy and many more.

Common accident insurance provisions include:

  • Benefit payout not dependent on income or participation in other employer insurance offerings 
  • No health questions asked, coverage always guaranteed
  • Multiple benefits available for any one accident
  • Dependents eligible for same benefit amounts as employee

When an accident insurance claim is submitted, the amount paid depends on the number of benefits for which an individual qualifies, the care received, and the terms and conditions of the policy. Historically, outside of health and wellness claims, the majority of accident claims have come from items such as follow-up office visits, X-rays, emergency room treatment, diagnostic testing and fractures.

Accident insurance can make a difference

Now that we’ve covered the details, it’s time to make accident insurance relatable. As carriers have expanded their offerings to both anticipate and respond to market needs, many have added accident insurance riders covering items such as injuries sustained during organized sporting events.

And what is the fastest growing sport in America? You guessed it — pickleball,2 with 48.3 million Americans playing the sport. And, for a variety of reasons, it is a sport rife with injury. Perhaps surprising to many (including me), this is not a game dominated by early retirees. The average age of a pickleball player is 34.8 years with 70 percent of these players being between 18 and 44 years of age. And, also surprisingly, most pickleball players are men — with averages cited ranging from 62 percent for the avid player to 57 percent for the more casual player.

Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the pickleball injuries being seen in emergency rooms are for those age 50 plus — accounting for 90.9 percent of injuries from a recent study of visits from 2013–2017.3 And these injuries trended towards strains and sprains at 28.7 percent and fractures at 27.7 percent.

These figures place the pickleball-playing demographic smack in the middle of working years and even when accounting for the slightly older age of those requiring emergency room treatment, pickleball may just become a key driver of accident claims moving forward — and a persuasive validation of the value of accident insurance for employees of all ages.


Today’s multiple-generation workforce exhibits a wide range of priorities, including mental wellness awareness, dependent caregiving and active lifestyles for themselves and their children, to name just a few. And there are a multitude of benefits within accident insurance to support them. A quick demographic analysis can help align needs and accident insurance coverages best suited to employee populations and provide an added layer of protection for individuals of all generations.

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Written by

Lydia Jilek
Securian Financial
Voluntary practice leader

Bio photo for Lydia Jilek

1. CNBC, August 31, 2023.

2. CNN, March 11, 2023.

3. Pickleball-Related Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments, Mathias Forrester

DOFU 1-2024