The statistic has come to light following a survey undertaken over the weekend – 1st and 2nd March – by online market research firm Usurv.
Burgess said: “I commissioned the survey in order to source a definitive figure on the extent of the protection gap – I knew it was widening, but this is grim.
“Last year over 1.26million loans were advanced to first-time buyers, those moving up the property ladder and people re-mortgaging their homes.
“It’s frightening to think 1.2 million of these could go into arrears; this scenario must be prevented.”
Non-partisan UK think-tank ResPublica estimates around 96% of people with mortgages from UK lenders have no financial support mechanisms to pay bills in the event of a lost income and these latest survey findings confirm its fears.
Martin Bysh from Usurv.com added: “I’m pleased Simon has been able to source a reliable statistic which reveals the extent of the protection problem; online surveys are easy for people to input to and can deliver speedy qualitative and quantitative results.”
Prior to the payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal, nearly 28% of homeowners with mortgages held a payment protection policy.