Individual BMC members all benefit from Personal Accident cover - and you never know when it might come in handy.
Life insurance is considered a must by most climbers and adventurous walkers. However experienced, careful and on-the-ball you are, when you’re pushing the boundaries of adventure things do sometimes go wrong. Most of the time, though, injuries in the mountains are debilitating rather than life threatening - and that’s where BMC Personal Accident cover comes in.
Personal Accident cover is automatically extended to all individual BMC members. “If you have a bad accident and the recovery process is lengthy, Personal Accident cover will provide financial assistance,” explains Jim Krawiecki, the BMC’s insurance specialist. “It’s designed to go towards the kind of things you might need to help you with that recovery process, as well as covering permanent disablement.”
Why is it important?
‘I didn’t think it would happen to me’.
“You quite often hear that cliché coming from people who have had accidents, people who have become disabled as a result of accidents or had injuries that take years to recover from,” says Jim.
Nobody ever thinks the worst will happen to them, but if you enjoy high-risk activities such as climbing, mountaineering and scrambling then there’s always a slight possibility that the best-laid plans will go awry. From relatively minor injuries that involve hospitalisation to major long-term issues, BMC Personal Accident cover provides compensation that will help you deal financially with both convalescence and permanent disability.
“On the few occasions where these awful things happen, that little bit of extra help can be worth a huge amount,” Jim adds. “Just realising that you have extra funds there can make a real difference to the quality of your recovery time.
What kind of thing does it cover?
BMC members have claimed for a huge variety of injuries through their Personal Accident cover, including fractures, dental damage and ongoing disability.
“One member was climbing when a loose rock fell and hit him in the mouth, causing extensive damage to his teeth,” says Andy Goulbourne of Howden, the insurance broker that supplies the BMC’s Combined Liability and Personal Accident insurance schemes. “The Personal Accident policy paid £500 towards the cost of emergency dental treatment, which helped him regain his smile!”
Another member’s equipment failed on a climbing wall, causing him to suffer severe multiple fractures as a result of the fall. “He was in hospital for an extended period of time,” says Andy. “The Personal Accident insurance made a payment to him of over £5,000 as a result of the time in hospital and convalescence.”
Do walkers need Personal Accident cover too?
It’s tempting for walkers to dismiss Personal Accident insurance as a climber’s problem - but hill folk of all types are at potential risk of injury.
“Hill walking often breaks into little bits of scrambling, which is almost like rock climbing without a rope,” says Jim. “It isn’t just walking on rounded, easy, soft grassy slopes, so hill walkers are frequently at similar risk as climbers.”
Andy agrees, citing an example of a member who was walking in the Alps when she tripped over a rock. “As she fell she hit her head and suffered a head injury that resulted in her being in a coma for an extended period of time,” he says. “Through the Personal Accident benefits for time in hospital and convalescence, the member received over £20,000 from insurers.
The nitty gritty
The BMC’s Personal Accident insurance is tailored to walkers, climbers and mountaineers, many of whom would otherwise have to pay hefty premiums for similar cover. All members between the ages of three and 80 are included, and it protects those partaking in adventurous activities anywhere in the world.
The highlights include £10,000 cover for permanent total disability, up to £10,000 for loss of limb, £10,000 for loss of sight and £500 for emergency dental care. Hospitalisation is also covered at £50 per day and convalescence at £100 per week (up to a maximum of £400).
You’ll find more details of the benefits and restrictions on our broker’s website, while other pros of becoming a BMC member - including Combined Liability insurance - are outlined in the membership benefits section of the BMC website.
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