One eye: 50 percent. One arm: 70 percent. Index finger: ten, other fingers: five percent. These are the guideline values of the dismemberment scale used in private accident insurance to determine the degree of disability. It significantly determines the level of disability benefits. However, the insurance cover is not always sufficient in the event of a serious incident, and accident insurance policies are often even superfluous.
"You can recognize a good contract by the fact that the customer does not only receive a high sum in the case of 100 percent disability", says susanne meunier from the foundation warentest. "Even with lower degrees of disability, the benefits must be right". In its most recent test on this topic in december 2011, finanztest tested several hundred tariff offers and only awarded the quality rating "very good" three times.
All tariffs in the test had to provide at least 500,000 euros in the event of full disability. "Of the 28 million or so policies in circulation, most are probably not even close to being as good as our test winners", says meunier. Unfortunately, this could not be easily seen in the conditions and the small print.
Benefits from one percent
If you have an offer or would like to review your existing policies (current policies can be cancelled with three months' notice at the end of the insurance year), you should ask for the detailed terms and conditions of the policy. "An info sheet or brochure is not enough", says meunier.
What an accident insurance policy is worth depends on several aspects, according to finanztest. A police should be valid worldwide and around the clock. Pure recreational accident insurance is not so good, however, and policies that only cover certain situations – e.G., sports – are no good at all. B. When driving a car – apply.
The tariff should already provide benefits from one percent disability, not just from 20 or 50 percent. Finanztest also recommends tariffs with a progression, because the insured person receives a multiple of the insured sum in the event of severe disability. You should also make sure that the death benefit – which often depends on the sum insured – is around 10,000 euros. Finally, the conditions should not be worse than the model conditions (AUB 2010) of the german insurance association (GDV). A good contract offers the following plus points over the standard terms: improved dismemberment index, later recognition of pre-existing conditions, extended deadlines for occurrence, recognition of disability, and fewer exclusions of benefits.
The guideline values of the member tax are not obligatory, says katrin ruter de escobar of the GDV. "This table is a non-binding suggestion for the contract design." Some insurers offer tariffs with different member rates. They then recognize up to 100 percent for their loss instead of the usual 55 percent – and the insured gets more money.
The final amount of the lump-sum benefit depends on the doctor's opinion. "As a rule, there is a down payment from the insurer", says ruter de escobar "so that capital is already there, for example, if you have to rebuild the apartment." The final sum will be paid out if, at the end of the recovery process, it has been determined which impairment and which degree of disability will remain.
The verbraucherzentrale bavaria is rather critical about the value of accident insurances. "They only make sense for certain groups, says sascha straub. Such a policy is interesting for people who have high risks in their leisure time, for athletes, but also for housewives.
"Accident insurance is lucrative for the industry", says straub. "Emotions are being played with". The case of performance is well calculable, because first of all an accident must be present. "But an accident that leads to permanent damage is not very probable." Disability is mainly caused by illnesses. But then accident insurance doesn't help, so it can't replace occupational disability insurance.
"That's why accident insurance is not an adequate alternative to occupational disability insurance, but rather a worse one." According to straub, only occupational disability insurance actually covers a wide range of existential risks. "Accident insurance", adds the consumer user "seems to be simple for now. But in the practical implementation there are hurdles. One cannot rely on the achievements, because everything is examined in the individual case."