Crazy Costs Catch Consumers Off-Guard

Protect your family’s fun-budget this summer.

Summer is almost here! Time for hikes, beach trips, sports, and fun. You’ve probably got much of the summer’s agenda lined up already, but there’s one thing to watch out for that could throw your fun off the rails—an accident.

When it comes to your family’s summer plans, dad showing off his wheelie skills or the kids’ tree-climbing exploits are part of enjoying the season. They also could result in thousands of dollars owed at the ER. According to a CDC report, in 2016 there were 29.2 million ER visits in the US due to unintentional injuries.

The average health insurance deductible for an employer-sponsored plan is pushing toward $2,000, and for an individual plan, that number is over $4,000. Over half of American households cannot unexpectedly cover this expense without taking on debt.

The challenges created by this shift in how Americans pay for healthcare are now being realized. Stories in major media outlets highlight families taking second and third jobs to pay medical expenses and the rise of crowdfunding campaigns to cover the costs of hospital bills.

Families (and solo adventurers) have a new ally in protecting their budgets for summer fun. Buddy, based in Richmond, VA, has launched the first on-demand accident insurance that protects active people in the event they get hurt and need medical treatment.

“We saw too many of our friends who we ride, paddle, and climb with end up owing large sums personally when they went to the ER,” said CEO Charles Merritt. “After seeing dozens of GoFundMe campaigns from our community, we knew that something needed to be done.”

Merritt, along with co-founders Jay Paul and David Vogeleer, started working on Buddy in 2017, and, after participating in the MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars, Buddy sold the first on-demand accident policy on Demo Day in October 2018.

The coverage is designed for families and individuals alike, but the reason that it’s great for summer exploits is that it can be purchased for shorter periods of time than a traditional plan. This means that you can get the whole family covered for a long weekend, or a week of vacation, without committing to an annual insurance policy.

A week-long family policy starts at $51 and provides up to $50,000 in benefits per covered accident. The checkout on takes just a minute or two, and coverage starts immediately. Buddy’s coverage is backed by Lloyd’s of London and is currently available in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

With a little extra coverage, the creeping costs of an accident can be reduced, and even if something goes wrong your summer fun-budget can stay on the right track!