Life insurance ‘protection gap’ revealed54% of UK adults have no life cover

12 December 2010

Life insurance and friendly societies

Tracking down forgotten life insurance can could be tricky

More than half of UK adults have no life insurance policy in place, according to new research – despite the fact that two thirds of the people who took part in the survey had financial dependents.

Barclays, which has re-launched its Simplified Life insurance product, carried out the study. The bank has warned that people with no life cover, and whose families or loved ones depend on their income, could leave their dependents in serious financial difficulty if they passed away unexpectedly.

According to Barclays, the ‘protection gap’ in the UK may now be as high as £2.4 trillion.

Life insurance is important

The main reasons for people not taking out life insurance, Barclays found, were not having financial dependents (25%), simply not having thought about it (23%) and not believing that the cover would offer good value for money (21%).

‘People have a natural blind spot around life insurance that means they often don’t want to think about it,’ says Rob Clarkson, of Barclays. ‘Life insurance can be really valuable but many people are put off by the thought of it being expensive or complicated.’

James Daley, editor of Which? Money, says: ‘Protection insurance – particularly life cover – is very important to consider if you have people in your life that depend on your income. Life insurance is a financial product many people purchase for the first time when they have children, as they want to ensure that their family would be financially secure in the event they suddenly died.

‘Despite many people’s fears, life insurance is often very affordable, too – particularly if you take out a policy while you are young and healthy.’

To find out more about life insurance, read the Which? guide How to buy life insurance advice guide.

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