A look at personal accident insurance (a podcast with Peter Laidlaw)

Published on 20 August 2021

Welcome to Insurance Covered. In this episode we are looking at personal accident insurance. Our guest this week is Peter Laidlaw, Head of the accident and health underwriting team at Atrium Underwriting. Peter specialises in writing a variety of risks, from K&R to our topic for today personal accident.

We start by discussing what exactly personal accident insurance is and what is included within it. Peter explains that it is exactly what it sounds like, accidents or risks that put a human life at risk of injury or worse. This can include permanent disability, temporary absence from work through accident or sickness, medical expenses, critical illness. It also includes travel to dangerous areas.

Peter goes on to explain that this kind of cover is often targeted towards high net worth individuals, celebrities and athletes are often the focus of these policies. We then look at a general example. If a premiership football team makes major investment to purchase a striker for £100m they would want to protect that investment. The team would take a policy out to make sure that if anything happens to that player that they basically would not lose the initial investment that they made. A policy would be written to protect against loss of value as a result of accident or injury to the player.  

We then look at where this kind of business comes from. Peter explains that a lot of the risks come from the US entertainment industry, for the obvious reason that it is so much bigger than in the UK. However, he notes that there are still a number of celebrities and athletes on the books from outside of the US.

Finally, we discuss if it impacts the underwriting process when it's a well-known public figure. Peter explains that regardless of the individual they are seen as an asset in the same way a car or Yacht would be to prevent any kind of bias being present.

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