SPONSORED POST DECLARATION: This article was sponsored by FWD Singapore, promoting its personal accident plans. Both FWD and TWS agree that you don’t need to spend too much on personal accident plans – just what you need.
For the past three years, I’ve been paying a whopping $588 a year for a top-of-the-line personal accident plan. A lot of people would consider this excessive, and you know what?
I think they are right.
That said, I’ve continued this plan, because I’ve chosen quite an active lifestyle (put on hold now because of COVID-19) that puts me at risk of getting into accidents.
Here are some considerations I had before committing to the $588 annual plan. See if it applies to you.
I cycle to work
My daily route from Clementi to Mountbatten used to take me through lots of crowded roads. It was 20 km, each way.
This keeps me fit and gets me some cardio during times when I have to spend 12, 14 hours at the workplace fighting clients and working on feedback – there’s simply no time to gym or jog. So, combining the commute and exercise makes sense.
In many ways, this exposes me to a lot more risk compared to the regular dude who takes the MRT. As you might know, Singaporean drivers aren’t used to cyclists on the road, so they like to overtake extremely closely.
Even when the next overtaking lane is completely clear. Weird flex, but okay.
That said, the one time I made a claim for was after an accident was back in 2018 during a massive collision with an illegally modified e-scooter that snapped my bike in two.
I suffered a neck contusion, was hospitalised for a day, and insurance paid out S$571.43.
I holiday in wild, remote places
Before COVID-19, most of my peers I know travelled far, and travelled often. Obviously, this cost quite a bit of cash, and wasn’t something I could afford.
As part of my plan to retire before 35, I usually try to take one holiday a year to cut down on flying costs (which often add up to more than the trips themselves).
These holidays tend to be affordable trekking/cycling trips in the wilderness/small towns with quite a bit of camping.
By doing so, I cut down a lot on transportation and accommodation costs. However, being in the outdoors often also exposes me to quite a bit of risk – including falls, crashes, nasty weather and bear attacks.
During my last trip to Mongolia, I actually got stuck in a blizzard for three days. I was fortunate enough to find a nomadic family to wait out the weather with (instead of shivering in a tent somewhere).
Now, if you’re also a nature lover who wants to try something more advanced, I highly recommend both bikepacking and trekking. That said, insurers don’t cover anything TOO hardcore, so be warned.
I ( and you) face possible Dengue risk
Infectious diseases are actually considered accidents too. I guess it makes sense. In the same way nobody asks to be hit by an ah beng on an e-scooter, nobody ever asks for a mosquito to land on you and give you dengue.
Everyone is fixated with COVID-19 (which is also covered) these days. So, it’s easy to forget that dengue has been quite serious in Singapore before the crisis hit.
As climate change continues, the chances of Singaporeans getting dengue become higher and higher, especially if you live near a hotspot.
Or spend lots of time outdoors.
If you’re a parent or working in early childcare, there’s also HFMD (Hand Foot Mouth Disease) that does its seasonal rounds.
How much should you pay for a personal accident plan tho?
Alright, after reading this, you might think you need to run out to get the expensive plan. But really, you don’t need to.
What I do think is that you need at least a basic plan. Especially with dengue, Covid-19 and reckless drivers/riders making their rounds in Singapore.
For someone who takes ultra-safe public transport, works out in a gym and doesn’t do outdoor activities, they should look only at the most basic of coverages, and then work their way up from there.
For instance, FWD’s Personal Accident Plan starts off at $90 per year for $100,000 coverage.
We think it’s affordable and versatile enough to cover most of the lifestyles of most people we know.
At $90, you get coverage for accidental death, permanent disability and medical expenses (including TCM and physiotherapy. The add-on cover offers daily cash if you are hospitalised.
“If you know it’s risky, why do you still go and do it?”
I get comments like the above, all the time when I tell people I cycle to work and go on outdoors adventures overseas. Personally? I think they’re hilarious.
Why? Because accidents happen, but not all the time.
We give them a lot of attention because they are often unpredictable and scary.
What is scarier though, is the way most people sit and watch death approach them slowly and conventionally.
Think about it: If I die from a bicycle accident tomorrow, it’ll receive a lot of attention from my loved ones.
However, if I die from a heart attack in 10 years down the line, like a lot of Singaporeans do, it will receive far less attention.
A bear mauling a hiker, or a shark attack is a dramatic story, but a couple of million deaths due to an inactive lifestyle is simply a boring statistic.
Here’s an analogy: Leading an ‘ultra-safe’ life is like putting all your money in your bank. Your money will never ride the ups and downs of the market, yes.
But it will also remain stunted, never growing like how it might do in an investment. Life wouldn’t be life without taking risks, so the conclusion is simple:
Understand the risks.
Buy your insurance.
Get on with life.
Stay safe and stay woke, Salaryman.
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