If your business employs, engages or places a ‘workforce’ these PEOPLE are your business’ most valuable asset – without them, your organisation would soon cease to operate and would ultimately fail. Despite this obvious commercial reality, for many SMEs, when it comes to considering insurance protection, Buildings/Contents/BI/Vehicles and Legal Liability requirements usually take priority resulting in Group Personal Accident insurance being overlooked, or worse still, ignored.

A Group Personal Accident insurance policy provides compensation for employees so that if involved in an unexpected accident they may receive the financial support and security they deserve. If they were to pass away as a result of an unforeseen Accident, then their family might also be financially supported by way of a lump sum ‘capital’ benefit payment.

Whether your business employs factory workers, builders, architects or drivers, the fact is that accidents can and do happen to your employees at any time, and this often occurs outside working hours. Many people wrongly assume that PA insurance is only bought by ‘individuals’ through personal lines policies – not so – businesses can also benefit from purchasing Group Personal Accident insurance – and it needn’t be an expensive benefit to provide to your staff.

Personal Accident Insurance generally covers employees between the ages of 15 and 70 years who have sustained bodily injury caused by violent, accidental, external and visible means, resulting in:

Death – paying an agreed Lump Sum

Permanent Disability – as above

Temporary Total (or partial) Disability – paying a Weekly Benefit to compensate for loss of earnings – usually capped at 85% of pre-injury average weekly earnings

Pre-agreed Medical and/or Rehabilitations costs and expenses

GPA policies can be purchased by employers as a benefit for employees and their dependents. They can also be purchased to protect against the financial effects of losing the services of an employee. GPA cover can be used to help the company recruit or train new staff while an employee recovers from a covered injury, and fundamentally, it can help pay ongoing wages to an injured employee.

The insured’s profession is one of the main driving factors in calculating the policy’s premium. Occupations are typically grouped into several different premium tiers for each category according to their level of risk. If you work in a high-risk industry, your premiums will therefore be more expensive. Higher premiums usually allow for more cover in the event of an insurable contingency.

A market standard (average) excess period is typically fourteen (14) days during which time it is anticipated that the employee may utilise any accrued sick leave entitlements that he or she may have accrued. Premium costs can be reduced by selecting a slightly higher excess period e.g. 21 days. ‘Weekly Benefits’ for loss of earnings are usually paid fortnightly in arrears – payments can be made to the Insured (employer) who, if willing and able, can deduct payrolls tax in the normal manner before remitting regular wage payment as normal. This method effectively provides seamless ‘salary continuance’ for a maximum period of 104 weeks (two years) subject to ongoing and satisfactory medical certification.

Important – Insurance terms and conditions will differ between insurance policies and insurance companies; you should always read a product disclosure statement (PDS) before making any decisions.

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