DO YOU NEED INCOME PROTECTION?
No one likes to think that something bad will happen to them. Each year, however, close to a million people find themselves unable to work for an extended length of time due to an illness or injury.
If you couldn’t work due to illness or injury, how long will your employer keep paying you? And how would you manage financially once they stopped?
Do you have enough in savings to be able to continue to pay your bills? How long would your savings last?
If you are employed you may qualify for Statutory Sick Pay. This is currently £95.85 per week, £415.35 per month, and payable for a maximum of 28 weeks. If your outgoings are more than this you need some other way to keep paying the bills, an Income Protection policy could offer you the security you need.
If you are self employed your income could cease immediately if you are unable to work. You do not qualify for SSP but may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance. This will depend on your circumstances and any other household income.
One way to mitigate the financial consequences of being off work and having no or reduced income is to take out an Income Protection policy.
WHAT IS INCOME PROTECTION INSURANCE?
Income Protection insurance can replace some of your income when you can’t work due to illness or injury. It will pay you a tax free monthly benefit until you are able to return to work, you retire, or until the end of the benefit term period selected, usually 24 months – whichever comes first.
It’s not the same as critical illness insurance which pays out a one-off lump sum if you are diagnosed with or undergo a medical procedure for one of the specified critical illnesses covered by the policy. Income `Protection policies don’t have specified illnesses that they cover, they are designed to cover any illness or accident that could prevent you from working. The two policies combined offer a belt and braces approach to protecting you, your family and your home.
With Income Protection insurance, everything depends on getting the right policy – so it’s best to get advice from a broker as the policies between providers vary and it’s important to get the one that best suits your situation.
WHO DOESN’T NEED INCOME PROTECTION?
You might not need income protection insurance if:
- You could survive on government benefits – but they might not be enough to cover all your outgoings.
- You have enough savings to support yourself – remember that your savings might need to see you through a long period.
- You could get by on your sick pay – for example, if you have an employee benefits package which gives you an income for 12 months or more.
- You could take early retirement – if you’re near retirement age, perhaps you could afford to retire early. If you’re unable to return to work you might be entitled to take your pension early.
- Your partner or family would support you – perhaps your partner has enough income to cover everything the two of you need.
As with all insurance policies, conditions and exclusions will apply.
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