There have been at least a dozen serious passenger aircraft crashes this year alone. The most prominent, perhaps, is Metrojet flight 9268, the Russian-operated airliner destroyed in a bombing over Egypt on 31 October, killing 224 passengers and crew.
But probably most shocking are aviation incidents, such as Germanwings 9525, which slammed into the French Alps when the suicidal co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, locked the pilot out of the cockpit and initiated the aircraft’s descent.
But 2015 is likely to be remembered even more for its terrorism incidents: the attacks in Paris in January and last month; the killings on the beach at Sousse in Tunisia in June; and bombings in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Natural disasters – tornadoes, cyclones, floods, tsunamis, lightning and the like – have also accounted for thousands of deaths and serious injuries all over the world, in the US, Asia and Europe in particular.
“The point is, bad things happen everywhere, unexpectedly and with alarming frequency. More than ever, it makes good sense for brokers to speak to their clients about taking out personal accident cover for their employees. People face a variety of risks in the line of their work, from motor accidents to terrorism,” says Mike do Vale, head of Hollard Broker Markets’ Accident and Health Centre of Excellence.
Accumulation risk, where employees are in the same place when an incident occurs (such as at work, on a staff bus or aboard an aircraft) presents a severe risk, particularly to smaller companies.
“Larger corporates may be able to absorb staff losses more easily than smaller companies because they have more people to step into the breach; but the loss of key personnel can be devastating to corporates as well as small companies when multiple lives are lost in one incident. But we’ve found that smaller companies are less likely to take out personal accident cover for their staff than larger ones, when loss of lives can lead to the closure of a business.
“Since employees are a company’s most valuable asset, group personal accident cover should become a top priority consideration by any employer, especially as rates are relatively low compared to other forms of insurance. ” says Do Vale.
Hollard’s personal accident offering – provided either on a fixed benefit basis, or the more popular “multiple