Britons do not protect themselves

Nia Williams

December 18, 2009

As Christmas approaches and people begin to purchase gifts for their loved ones the average contents value of a home increases. It is therefore great to see that as many as five in seven (71%) of Britons surveyed have contents insurance, while 23% have insurance against an electrical appliance breaking down and spoiling the festive season.

However, this is in huge contrast to the number of people who have certain types of personal protection. While almost a half (44%) of respondents have life cover, only 15% have critical illness cover to provide a lump sum or income should they or their partner get a critical illness.

The study, which was undertaken by market research specialists Ipsos MORI to investigate the changing lifestyles and attitudes of the UK population, reveals that just 9% of people have income protection insurance and even fewer (5%) have unemployment benefit. It also shows that one in 9 (11%) have personally funded private medical insurance.

The most common barrier to taking out insurance to provide a lump sum of money or income should you become critically ill or die, is cost – with 44% of respondents thinking that insurance is too expensive. This is followed by one in eight (13%) who think it is not necessary as they have savings – but in reality how long would these savings last?

Susan Barclay, head of marketing, Scottish Provident said: “It is great to see that people are taking out adequate insurance to cover the items in their homes, especially in the run up to Christmas when people are making lots of purchases. However, this should not be at the expense of personal cover. Despite the fact that almost a half of the respondents perceived personal insurance as too expensive, people need to be aware that life protection can be bought from as little as £10 per month, and extras such as critical illness cover can be added for around £17 extra a month.

“While many people think that their savings will cover them, should they fall critically ill and are unable to work, the financial impact can run into thousands of pounds. It is vital that consumers take out suitable protection in order to provide for themselves or their loved ones if the worst happens.”


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