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I'm a software engineer - this means that I type all day. I was doing some woodworking with a friend and he remarked off hand to be careful, an accident that cut off a finger or more might be catastrophic for my career. I am sure there are workarounds, but they are probably not as convenient.

Is there any way to buy insurance against injury to your hands or wrists? If there is, how much does it cost? Would you recommend it?

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closed as off topic by Morons, Karl Bielefeldt, Glenn Nelson, Mark Trapp Dec 8 '11 at 2:27

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I don't know what kinds of answers you'll get, but +1 for an interesting question that is definitely applicable to programmers! –  nlawalker Dec 8 '11 at 1:26
I'm a bit surprised this got so many votes. It's not specific to programming, and disability insurance is very common. –  Scott Whitlock Dec 8 '11 at 1:44
Hi Kevin, questions about getting disability or health insurance aren't on-topic here: this might be on-topic on the forthcoming Professional Matters site, though. –  user8 Dec 8 '11 at 2:28
You might want to insure your eyes too, while you're at it –  Paul R Dec 8 '11 at 7:58

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes there is. It's called Disability Insurance.

I have disability insurance which, among other things, covers me for amputations (with a lump sum). It also covers you for lost income based on an accident. There are lots of legal terms like full or partial disability, etc.

In the case of a missing finger, there'd be a lump sum, plus probably medical and rehabilitation costs, plus time off work, and depending on whether or not you could continue with your job, they will top up income, to something like the 80% level of your previous income, until retirement age.

Note that disability insurance is meant to supplement existing government disability insurance (which generally only includes when you get injured at work, not at home) and employment insurance (which generally runs out after 6 months, in my country anyway).

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I've never asked myself, but I'm certain it is possible -- after all athletes insure their knees and Tom Jones insured his chest hair.

The better question is how to value your hand so that the actuaries can come up with some sort of payout and therefore rate. I'd expect costs to be rather high since the risk pool is rather narrow, even if you have a vested interest in keeping your digits intact.

The other way to approach this is to look at more traditional policies -- things like accidental death & dismemberment or disability policies, perhaps with some specialized riders.

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