Families without 'worst case scenario' insuranceParents more likely to insure pets than salary

11 April 2011


Insurance shouldn't just cover possessions

New figures show families in the UK are more likely to insure their cars and pets than their health or salaries

Statistics from Legal & General show that families are more likely to have cover in place for their possessions and property than financial protection cover for themselves and their families.

The research found just under half of parents do not have life insurance cover, and over three quarters do not have any critical illness insurance in place. Only 17% hold income protection cover. Almost two in five respondents claimed not to have any personal financial protection at all.

In comparison, three quarters of parents have car and/or home contents insurance cover, over three fifths have buildings insurance, and almost one in five have mobile phone insurance. This echoes Mintel research from 2010 showing that more people insure their pets than their own income.

Financial Protection

Long-term illness affects many of us, with research from Cancer Research showing that more than 293,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK. More than a third of us will develop some form of cancer during our lifetimes.

Income protection insurance provides insurance if the policy holder is unable to work due to illness or accidental injury. The benefit paid is up to a maximum percentage of your earnings – often 50% or 60%. We think income protection is generally a much better product than restrictive alternatives such as payment protection insurance (PPI).

Other options include critical illness insurance which pays a lump sum if you develop a serious illness, such as cancer, or if you have a heart attack or stroke.

Guidance from Which?

Choosing between financial products is tricky at the best of times, and it's vitally important when choosing income protection and critical illness cover that you pick the right one for your needs. It's usually worth taking independent financial advice before buying any protection insurance.

Read the Which? guide to Understanding protection insurance for more detail on how the different products work, comparisons of the best providers, and how to avoid some common pitfalls.

We’ve also analysed hundreds of Private medical insurance (PMI) policies and how they stack up, including what level of cover is appropriate and how to cut the cost of PMI.

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