Accident Statistics are Scary, but are they eye opening?

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While reading today’s Times of India which reports Road Accidents as the 3rd biggest Killer, My colleague Kalpesh Chavan and I got into a conversation. Here’s a rough transcript of the same.

Me: “The statistics make driving through Mumbai scarier!”

Kalpesh: “But are they eye-opening?” (The soft spoken Kalpesh gets aggressive)

Me: “What do you mean?”

Kalpesh: "I really doubt! It’s ironic, but the number of people from all walks of life either have personal accident cover or interested to cover themselves, and their families with a Personal Accident insurance are very few and sundry. I have observed, very few people are awakened to the risk of an accidental disability (even after they have been made aware), and how it can turn their lives topsy-turvy."

Me: "Maybe, most of us due to our exposure to chaos have become what could be called “risk immune”. What could otherwise explain the way we travel on a dingy scooter with wife and 2 kids, or read newspapers on the footboard of a train or even the way we cross roads (and highways!)."

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Kalpesh: “Yeah…! When you are travelling, you survive beeping bikes, opportunist auto rickshaws, potholes, hawkers on broken footpaths, cars parked on both sides of the road, and yes, the of course, the unimportant masses walking on both sides of the road, and reach home every day. Maybe there is no risk? (He says sarcastically)”

Me: “Hmmm…The god fearing people that most of us are, somewhere, I feel our embedded belief in god believes it will protect us from this chaos. No matter, you are walking on the road, traveling by public transport, using a two-wheeler or a car, we are either in bliss or are so stressed, hassled that we don’t realize how many risks of accidents we avoid in a day. Sab kuch Ram Bharose hain”

Kalpesh: “Yeah, but an accident which could change lives, topsy-turvy.  One needs to visit an Emergency Room of a Hospital to know how many accidents take place in a day."

Me: "I agree, in my opinion,  Personal Accident Insurance is as important as Health Insurance or a Term Life Insurance, as far as sound financial planning is concerned. You may not always die of an Accident, but, as anyone would agree an accident can result in a disability, which could probably be more painful for your family and you, than even a sudden death."

Kalpesh: "Yes, a disability could result in regular expenses to adapt to the disability. For instances, our houses are generally not built for a wheel chair. I had a friend who faced huge issues, when his mother had met with an accident and lost her left foot"  

Me: "In case of a major disability like blindness or loss of limbs, it would require an attendant like Thakur had Ramlal in Sholay…and Ramlals are very expensive nowadays! J (The movie bug, like always, bites me, finally)"

Kalpesh: "LOL! People don’t know they can avoid such a situation, by paying just Rs. 1500 a year, for a Rs. 10 Lakh Personal Accident cover! Some depend on their corporate cover which is generally a measly sum, and does not serve the purpose."   

Me: "Are you attempting at selling me Personal Accident policies, I already have a good one!"

That’s when a customer calls Kalpesh, and we move to our respective work stations. 

What do you think? Why you have not bought your own Personal Accident policy till date? 

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