Life insurance Updated:
Insurance is a fact of life for many of us. We protect our cars, our homes, our health and even our pets, but there's one aspect that too few of us consider – our finances, or that of our family, in the event of our death. It isn't a nice aspect to consider but it's important nonetheless, yet research from Scottish Widows shows that a worryingly small proportion of consumers view this as a priority.
In fact, just 39% of us feel that protecting our families in the event of death is essential, which has dropped from more than half (53%) in just four years. Furthermore, even fewer respondents (28%) felt that financial security for dependents in the event of becoming critically ill is a necessity – yet in contrast, 80% consider broadband as essential for daily living, while 71% can't function without a mobile phone.
These figures are particularly concerning given the financial strain that can be placed on a family should the main breadwinner be out of action. Indeed, the research has been released to coincide with Stroke Awareness Month, a condition that's the single largest cause of death in the UK and the third largest cause of Scottish Widows' critical illness claims in 2014, as well as the fifth largest cause of life cover claims.
The protection company revealed that it paid out more than £10.3m for these claims during the 12 months – or just under £40,000 every working day – and you just need to think about your financial situation should that kind of support not be there to see how vital it can be.
"It's worrying that many people consider internet connection and mobile phones to be greater financial priorities than protecting themselves and their families," said Scott Cadger, head of Underwriting and Claims Strategy at Scottish Widows. "Something like a stroke can often result in disruption to an individual's ability to work, and the loss of income for a pivotal member of the family can have huge repercussions for those who depend on them. It's human nature to avoid thinking about the worst, but the peace of mind that financial protection provides can be very liberating."
It seems counter-productive to spend so much on broadband or mobile phone contracts – which can easily run into hundreds of pounds per year – yet spend so little on financial protection. Don't fall into the same trap!
Critical illness cover and life insurance may not sound like things you want to spend money on, but the support they can provide could be invaluable should the time come, and you needn't spend a fortune, either. Use our quote tools to see how much your premiums could be, and start pushing financial protection up the list of priorities.
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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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