COVID-19 quarantine can lead to more accidents

Life Lessons

COVID-19 quarantine can lead to more accidents

We may be safer from the coronavirus at home — but maybe not from ourselves.

New research from employee benefits provider Unum shows many of us have been a lot busier around the house and yard during the three months since the pandemic hit in March — including many activities that could result in accidents. More home-cooked meals are good. More pulled muscles, not so much.

Unum’s online survey of 1,003 U.S. adults conducted in June showed people are doing more or much more of many activities with injury potential:

  • 52% — indoor cleaning, moving furniture, organization
  • 44% — yard work or gardening
  • 41% — increased exercise and physical activity
  • 30% — using power tools or sharp objects
  • 21% — climbing ladders

In the same survey, a third of people said someone in the household had an accident in the last three months. More than 1 in 10 (11%) said the accident required medical attention — and that number was twice as high (22%) for Generation Z folks. In fact, the National Safety Council reports every 10 minutes, 885 Americans suffer an injury severe enough to seek medical help.

That could explain why Gen Zers are significantly more interested in accident insurance than the general population. About half of all respondents (47%) said they’d be interested in an insurance policy that pays a financial benefit for medical treatment of certain accidents. That number jumped to 64% for Gen Z and Millennial respondents.

“Accident insurance can help ease the financial pressure of out-of-pocket expenses when you’re injured,” said Ashley Shope, assistant vice president in product & market development for Unum. “It can pay benefits for emergency treatment as well as doctor follow-up visits, medical imaging and even medical equipment such as crutches and wheelchairs.”

Even those with health insurance often struggle to pay for bills not covered by their policy. The Kaiser Family Foundation found 75% of people with health insurance say the amount they were charged for copays, deductibles or coinsurance was more than they could afford. 

Before you don your safety glasses and gloves for that outdoor project, it might pay to take one more precaution: Check your employee benefits to see if you have or are offered accident insurance.

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