The insurance that cover for you in case of accidents, is called in the UK Accident, Sickness and Unemployment (ASU) policy. As the name suggests, it does not refer only to accidents, but also to serious illnesses or cases of losing regular job.
ASU is aimed at protecting the insured person in instances of losing a job without person’s fault, falling too sick to be able to work or getting injured and being unsuitable to work. The policy will provide you with financial protection in the period when you are unemployed or unable to work, though this period is limited. Typically, ASU covers for up to 12 months and in that time, you receive monthly income that should be enough to help pay for your typical expenses.
ASU has some exclusions, as every insurance does. You won’t receive money for your claim in cases where you might have been aware at the moment of getting the policy, that you might get fired soon. For example, if you are aware that serious cut of jobs is planned at your company and you decide to insure yourself in order to get payments, your insurance might be invalid. The insurer thoroughly investigates claims and look for cases of deliberately trying to insure oneself in anticipation of redundancy. Additionally, some medical conditions are also excluded from the cover of the policy. Ensure to check the list of illnesses and accidents you are covered for. Quite often typical causes of absence at work like stress issues or problems with back, are on the list of exclusions. Pre-existing medical conditions are reason of denial of claim as well.
This policy comes with a waiting period. It is a form of preventing insurer to fall victim of fraudulent claims. Always check the waiting period before signing insurance papers – sometimes the policy gets valid only after couple of months. That means if you fell sick or get redundant immediately after buying the policy, your claim won’t be considered.
ASU is similar to income protection policy, but additionally covers redundancy. ASU also limits to usually maximum 12 months the period of payments, whereas in income protection policy that period can be longer (until retirement or death). Due to that reasons, ASU’s premiums are cheaper than the income protection ones. However, if you are over 65 or self-employed or have been hired less than 6 months ago, your premium may be very high. Or you will find it hard to get an insurance at all.