PPI alternatives Cover you could already have
It's really important to have some insurance in place to protect you if you can't work because of illness or accident, or you lose your job.
You need to be able to cover all your main out-goings – not just one debit.
Payment protection insurance (PPI) may be better than no protection at all, but we think it's a pretty poor deal.
You can get much better protection than PPI, often at a really good price.
1Speak to your employer
If you're employed you should check what your employer would pay you, and for how long, if you were ill or had an accident. There's no point for paying for additional insurance if everything is covered by your sick pay scheme.
Most employers will only pay you for a limited period so you need to consider what you would do if you couldn't return to work by the time your employer stopped paying.
Of course, if you're self-employed or you don't work, you don't have an employer to help you out. So it's even more important to make sure you have adequate protection in place.
2Look into state benefits
Find out whether you would be entitles to state help if you were unable to work because of illness, accident or disability. These benefits are paid for through national insurance contributions or NICs.
If you're an employee, you'll usually be entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks, paid by your employer. SSP is currently £75.40 a week. Many employers may top up SSP with additional sick pay but this further payment is discretionary, and may be longer or shorter than 28 weeks. Find out where you stand by checking your contract of employment.
After 28 weeks, employees may be entitled to receive short-term incapacity benefit, currently also £75.40 a week. It's paid from the 29th week of sickness to the 52nd week of sickness.
Self-employed people aren't entitled to statutory sick pay, but may be able to claim employment and support allowance (ESA) instead. To find out what benefits you might be entitled to, see the Direct Gov site.
Employment and support allowance
Incapacity benefit was abolished in October 2008 and replaced by a new benefit called employment and support allowance (ESA).
Statutory sick pay will still be paid to employees for 28 weeks, however after that there will be a 13 week assessment period to find out if you are eligible for ESA and if so, what type. During the 13 weeks you'll receive an amount broadly in line with jobseeker's allowance – around £60 a week for people 25 or over. Self-employed people will go straight into the 13 week assessment period.
Once you've been assessed you will receive one of two types of ESA:
- If you are capable of some form of work-related activity you'll be entitled to claim ESA of £89.50 a week until you can work again. You'll also need to attend work-focused interviews to help you get back to work.
- If you're assessed as not being able to take part in any work-related activity you'll receive ESA of between £89.50 and £102.10 a week.
You can find out more about state benefits at Direct Gov.
Have you used a claims management company?
If you have used a claims management company to get PPI redress, tell us about your experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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