20 Aug 2019
How to Enjoy Your Summer…Safely
Summer is the time to relax, kick back and unplug, except when it comes to safety. Because, as delightful as summer is, it’s called “accident season” for good reason. This is the time of year when certain types of personal accidents occur in peak numbers, resulting in injury and even loss of life.
Enjoy that Day at the Beach, But Don’t Bury Your Head in the Sand
The key to enjoying your summer pleasures safely is to know the hazards, take steps to avoid them, and secure financial protection just in case—especially when it comes to these common summer accidents.
Car Accidents Spike in Summer
Did you know that June, July and August have been dubbed the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer? These are the most crash-prone months of the year. Surprisingly, summer road fatalities are 29% higher than winter’s, despite the absence of slick, snow-covered roads.
Why? For one thing, because people are on the road about 20% more in summer. In addition, blowouts happen more often, as hot temperatures and long drives strain worn tires. More than an inconvenience, tire blowouts cause 400 deaths and 78,000 crashes every year.
The good news is, there are many steps you can take to improve car safety year-round. You undoubtedly know them all—from buckling your seatbelt and putting down your cell phone to staying current on vehicle maintenance—but a refresher never hurts.
Water Hazards: Know Your Risks
Unsurprisingly, more drownings and water-related injuries occur during summer. But did you know that the majority of drownings occur in backyard pools? And that drowning remains the second leading cause of death for children ages one to fourteen?
The risk is closer than you may think, and compounding the tragedy is that these losses are preventable. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to teach them how to swim. If you own a pool or spa, make sure it’s properly fenced off and secured. Never leave kids unsupervised around water for even one second—and, no matter how strong a swimmer you are, never swim alone.
Kids and Hot Cars: A Dangerous Mix
Every year, dozens of babies and children—not to mention family pets—die of heatstroke after being left inside a locked car. There’s even a name for it: pediatric vehicular heatstroke.
Temperatures inside a car can climb 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, rising 40 degrees or more within an hour’s time. The heat is so fierce, the body’s cooling system shuts down. Rolling down a window won’t make a difference.
Never be tempted to leave your kids or pets behind, even if you’ll be gone for “only five minutes.” If you need a reminder, place your smartphone or handbag—something you always take with you—in the back with your precious passengers.
Vacation Perils to Avoid
While we all look forward to our annual vacations, keep in mind: every year, more than 25,000 international tourists lose their lives abroad—and that’s just due to auto accidents. Many more suffer accidental injuries.
The moral here: do your research when planning a trip. Avoid high-risk destinations and modes of travel. Undertake extreme activities mindfully, and that includes driving in unfamiliar countries.
And of course, create an emergency plan in case you or a family member become injured or sick, which includes securing financial protection for emergency care. Keep in mind, a single medical evacuation can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Prevention is Key: Where Accident Insurance Fits In
Purchasing accident insurance—whether death and dismemberment (AD&D), medical benefits and/or disability benefits—is an easy, economical way to ensure you’re financially ready for the unexpected. Accident insurance augments other coverages you may already have in place, typically requires minimal medical underwriting and is highly affordable.
What exactly do accident policies cover? Pan-American Life Insurance Company (PALIG) is known for its top rated individual and group accident products in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. Here is a sampling of two of our most popular individual accident products.
For Foreign Travel: Travel Care
PALIG’s Travel Care insurance protect travelers outside of their country of residence, often filling a gap where other insurance falls short. For example, many health plans provide limited or no benefits for medical expenses incurred aboard, and very few provide benefits for medical evacuation.
Travel Care includes medical expense reimbursement for accidents and sickness, medical evacuation benefits, AD&D, plus benefits for emergency family travel and repatriation of remains. There are four plans to choose from, and coverage can be purchased for the length of a trip up to six months long.
Rule of thumb: when planning a trip aboard, find out what your existing insurance covers—and if you think you need additional protection, know that it’s easy to obtain.
For Everyday Security: Shield Protection
Accidents can occur anywhere, anytime. PALIG’s Shield Protection offers the flexibility to build a custom permanent accident policy that includes AD&D, as well as optional accident and sickness disability income and/or accident medical expense reimbursement protection. You can also choose standalone hospital income benefits for accidents and illness.
It’s a simple, affordable alternative for people who can’t afford or qualify for life insurance…who don’t have adequate disability income protection…who have high-deductible health plans…or who, as family breadwinners, can’t afford to be hospitalized and out-of-work.
The bottom line is, every season and activity has its own pleasures and perils. While we can’t control the future, we can take steps to minimize our risks—and be ready for whatever life brings our way.