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What's all the quacking about?

You may have health and motorcycle insurance, but is that enough?

We’ve all heard the old cliché about there being only two types of riders: those who have crashed and those that will. Whether this is true or not, it points to an obvious fact of riding a motorcycle: motorcycling is an inherently risky mode of transportation, especially when compared to commuting while surrounded by three thousand pounds of steel (okay, mostly plastic these days, but you get my point).

If you’re lucky, you have quality health insurance, and if you’re smart you will have plenty of motorcycle insurance, but is that enough? There are a number of riders who have no health insurance, some with just catastrophe cover (i.e. $1,500 deductible) and even if you do have full insurance there is surely some sort of deductible you'll need to pony up along the way.

Health insurance will hopefully cover your hospital bills, and motorcycle insurance may fix your bike or any damage you happen to inflict to other persons and property. But, what would you do if you couldn’t pay your bills or work for a week, a month or even a year? This is where a personal accident indemnity plan, such as the one offered by AFLAC, comes into play.

So, what is that duck quacking about in all those commercials?

The big difference between what AFLAC does and what your standard health insurance is that instead of paying the doctors and the hospitals as your health insurance does, ALFAC pays you. You choose where the money goes, whether it be your health insurance deductible, uncovered medical expenses or even your car payment, mortgage or cell phone bill.

AFLAC is not medical insurance, and it works best in conjunction with a typical health insurance plan. This is because instead of paying a percentage of your medical bills, it pays a pre-determined, lump sum depending on the type of injury, cost of treatment, and recovery time. There are no deductibles or co-pays. AFLAC’s personal accident plan covers all types of mishaps, whether they be motorcycle related, work related or occur around the house.

From severe life threatening injuries to stitches in a cut finger, you can file a claim. The pay-out depends on the accident, so a cut finger claim may only pay you $50, while a severe accident claim could pay-out in the thousands of dollars. AFLAC does not cover your routine medical bills, prescription meds, and the like. But, they do pay some of the costs associated with an accident such as MRI’s, ambulance rides, hospital stays, and doctor visits.

We’ve all have heard about and felt the pinch from the costs of health insurance. AFLAC is surprisingly affordable, especially if you can get it through work. As of this writing the basic accident plan for an individual costs $24 a month (that comes to just over $5 a week), while family coverage is around $40 a month. The costs do go up considerably if you are self-employed with no employees working for you, or if your workplace does not offer AFLAC, by about 40%.

The good news about AFLAC is that it is price-locked and portable. What this means is that the rates will never be raised, and if you quit your job or retire, the plan comes with you and the rates don’t change. Does your health insurance offer that?

Hopefully with responsible, intelligent riding you will prove the cliché wrong, but accidents happen, on and off the road. Even if you know you will never have an accident, do yourself a favor and see if your employer offers AFLAC or a similar accident plan.

Patrick Duff / Fall 06

Special thanks to Patty Fuentes of Aflac for assistance in this story. 

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