An individual walking up steps (Image: Thinkstock)

While we all hope for as easy a life as possible, the likelihood of an accident happening is too high for your clients to do nothing about that.

Life happens, after all. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accidental injuries lead to an estimated 30.8 million visits to the hospital emergency department each year.

If an accident happens, major medical may cover a large share of the doctor and hospital costs. However, the unexpected out-of-pocket expenses that remain can quickly add up.

The average total cost of treating one broken leg, for example, is $9,300, according to Aflac estimates. Assuming the average major medical insurance plans cover about 60% of the costs, there would still be about $3,720 in remaining expenses.

(Related: 3 Things Employers Should Know About Financial Wellness Services)

The best strategy is, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” but how do we prepare for what we cannot predict? One important way to help client employers and their employees prepare for the high cost of accidents is to offer them voluntary accident insurance plans, like those offered by Aflac, and to remind clients about the peace of mind and financial security accident insurance can offer.

All Life Stages

While some insurance policies might hone in on a particular age group, accident insurance can be a great boon for every employee, no matter what the employee’s life stage.

Whether the employee is a young college graduate still developing rainy day savings, or a near-retirement-age employee who has no desire to dip into retirement funds early, the employee may not have the cash on hand to pay for high deductibles or other out-of-pocket expenses.

Accident insurance can help life continue uninterrupted for all employees. That means young parents can have help paying for a child’s backyard injury, and weekend warriors can go on vacation without needing to worry about whether benefits will follow them out of town.

An Extra Benefit

Another reason for employers to offer accident insurance is the growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility. Companies today are increasingly judged by criteria such as the way they treat their employees.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of employees have less than $1,000 available to pay for unexpected out-of-pocket medical expenses, according to Aflac’s WorkForces Report.

Providing those employees with access to accident insurance helps client employers show genuine care for employees – both on and off the job – by helping the employees meet a practical financial need.

Doing so better differentiates great, compassionate companies from the merely good. Best of all, voluntary insurance policies can be offered at no direct cost to the employer.

It is probably safe to say that no one wakes up in the morning expecting to get hurt in an accidental slip, trip or fall. However, the unpredictable nature of accidents does not negate the need to be as financially prepared as possible for one. Counsel clients on the need for accident insurance for their employees, regardless of where the employees are in life. Offering that product is good for the employees and the business alike.

— Read Uninsured Rate Soars for the Moderately Broke : CDCon ThinkAdvisor.


Wendy Herndon (Photo: Aflac)Wendy Herndon is second vice president of product development and implementation at Aflac. She has more than 20 years of experience in this field.