Are medical costs keeping your employees up at night?

Cushion the impact of out-of-pocket expenses with modern accident benefits

October 1, 2023

Many workers are stressed out about rising out-of-pocket medical costs and their financial ability to pay for a sudden injury. For many working families, accident insurance can be a very practical benefit to help them cope with unexpected bills.

Consider the average medical costs for an accidental injury in the ER is $6,620.1 If the accident leads to hospitalization, the bill can easily rack up to thousands more in medical costs, and higher out-of-pocket expenses.

The combination of deductible and co-insurance for unexpected medical costs can often exceed an individual or family's ability to pay it off immediately. For some employees, the medical debt could even take months or years to pay off.2

This is where a combination of voluntary benefits, including accident insurance, can help cushion the financial impact of out-of-pocket expenses like deductibles and coinsurance.

Accident coverage fits the needs of many working families because injuries are so common and can happen any time to people of all walks of life. According to a Colonial Life survey, 45% of workers have used their health insurance for themselves or a family member for an unexpected accident.3

44% of insured adults worry about affording their deductible

Source: KFF, Health Tracking Poll, 2022.

Here are two reasons why accident insurance is an exceptional benefit to help working families cope with unexpected medical bills.

Reduces risk for on-the-job injuries

Some injured workers in physically demanding jobs may skip going to the doctor or treat themselves with insufficient home remedies if they think they can't afford their health plan's deductible. Unfortunately, the unintended consequence of leaving that injury untreated can lead to a higher risk of injuries on the job.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense to many workers to go to the doctor for a broken finger or a sprained wrist, if they have to pay a $500 deductible," said Justin Manale, District General Agent at Colonial Life, New Orleans. "But if they receive a benefit from their accident insurance then it makes sense."

Higher resiliency, higher satisfaction

Benefits like accident insurance that help cushion the impact of miscellaneous expenses associated with an injury can help employees weather life’s unexpected challenges.

And if a serious injury leads to extended time away from work, then "If an injured worker has applied for disability benefits, there is a good chance that worker will receive their accident benefit before eligibility for their disability benefit kicks in," said Katherine Thompson, AVP of Product & Market Development for Colonial Life.

"Dealing with the stress of a medical emergency is hard," said Thompson. "But if that employee doesn’t have to go into debt to pay off that deductible and co-insurance, they should feel more secure about their finances and really happy with their benefits."

48% of adults or family members with health insurance have postponed medical care because of costs.

Source: KFF, Health Care Debt Survey, 2022.

49% of adults wouldn't be able to pay for an unexpected $500 medical bill without going into debt.

Source: KFF, Health Care Debt Survey, 2022.

Today, a modern take on accident coverage is expanding its traditional benefits, offering more features and more value for more workers of all generations. It's accident coverage for the next generation.

Next generation features

Something that appeals to many workers is a broad range of benefits that can provide additional value, such as getting a yearly physical or taking a defensive driving course.

Benefits for wellbeing assistance or personal safety courses may be new concepts, but they are both very practical benefits, explained Thompson. "Benefits like these can help workers spot health conditions early or drive more safely and protect themselves from less safe drivers, helping reduce overall risk."

Other new benefits are designed to expand coverage, such as benefits for behavioral health therapy for injury recovery or PTSD diagnosis, family care and pet boarding to help cover everyday expenses incurred during treatment, and a benefit booster that can provide an additional amount for serious accidents that result in $5,000 or more in paid benefits.

"It is important for us to provide continued value with accident insurance, especially with the rising costs of healthcare," said Thompson. "As an example, our building benefit can provide increasing benefits to families and individuals the longer they keep their insurance with Colonial Life."

While the broad range of features highlight how this coverage is evolving, its core function helps employees soften the financial impact of gaps in their health plan. 

New features for modern accident coverage

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    Active lifestyles: Increases the value of 18 eligible common benefits associated with physical activities and sports, such as concussions, fractures and x-rays
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    Behavioral health therapy: Helps cover behavioral health visits to assist in recovery from a covered accident
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    Building benefit: Increases the value of benefits the longer you keep the coverage
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    Enhanced wellbeing assistance: Helps cover behavioral health visits to assist in recovery from a covered accident
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    Family care and pet boarding: Provides daily benefits to help provide care for a child or pet while a covered person is hospitalized or recovering from surgery for a covered accident
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    Gunshot wound: Payable for a nonfatal gunshot wound as the result of a covered accident
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    Healthcare employee: Increases the value of accident hospital benefits when hospital employees receive care in their employers' facilities
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    Personal safety: For completion of covered programs, including defensive driving, first aid and swimming lessons

Accident insurance has always helped hardworking individuals and families stay protected from unexpected medical costs of an injury. But now, a modern take on this valuable coverage is adding features that speak to the benefit needs of a multigenerational and diverse workforce.

For more information about Colonial Life benefits, download our Voluntary benefits 101 guide.

1 Injury Prevention, Average Cost of Fatal and Non-fatal Injuries by Type, 2021.
2 KFF: Health Care Debt Survey, 2022.
3 Colonial Life, Employee Enrollment Survey, company sponsored, 2021. 1,462 U.S. full-time employees responded to the survey in August 2021.


This coverage is a supplement to health insurance. It is not a substitute for essential health benefits or minimum essential coverage as defined in federal law. Insureds in some states must be covered by comprehensive health insurance before applying for accident insurance.

We will not pay benefits for claims that are caused by, contributed to by, or resulting from elective procedures, felonies or illegal occupations, hazardous avocations, impaired driving, incarceration, racing, semiprofessional or professional sports, sickness, suicide or self-inflicted injuries, war, or armed conflict. Provisions may vary in other states.

Premium will vary based on the coverage selected.

Eligibility for benefits: Accident insurance provides financial protection for an insured by paying benefits if an insured is involved in a covered accident that results in a covered loss payable under the certificate. Benefits will only be payable for covered accidents that occur on or after the insured’s coverage effective date. Benefits will not be paid for any injury, treatment or care due to causes other than covered accidents.

A covered accident means an unintended or unforeseen bodily injury sustained by an insured, wholly independent of disease, bodily infirmity, illness, infection, or any other abnormal physical condition and which:

  • occurs on or after the coverage effective date;
  • occurs while coverage is in force; and
  • is not excluded by name or specific description in the certificate.

End of coverage for the named insured:Your coverage under the certificate ends on the earliest of:

  • the date the policy is canceled by us or the policyholder;
  • the date you are no longer in an eligible group;
  • the date your eligible group is no longer covered;
  • the date of your death; or
  • the last day of the period any required premium contributions are made.

However, as long as premium is paid as required, coverage will continue in accordance with the Continuation of your Coverage During Absences provision.

Exclusions: We will not pay benefits for claims that are caused by, contributed to by, or resulting from elective procedures, felonies or illegal occupations, hazardous avocations, impaired driving, incarceration, racing, semiprofessional or professional sports, sickness, suicide or self-inflicted injuries, war, or armed conflict.

Provisions may vary in other states.

This information is not intended to be a complete description of the insurance coverage available. The insurance or its provisions may vary or be unavailable in some states. The insurance has exclusions and limitations which may affect any benefits payable. Applicable to policy form GAC4100-P and certificate form GAC4100-C (including state abbreviations where used, for example: GAC4100-P-TX and GAC4100-C-TX). For cost and complete details of coverage, call or write your Colonial Life benefits representative or the company. An insurance producer may contact you.