Protection: Cost remains key obstacle to improving take up

In spite of efforts to boost awareness of protection and its value, six out of ten UK adults still do not have any protection in place should they be unable to work, with many continuing to cite the perceived cost of policies as reason for not obtaining cover.

According to Bright Grey’s annual ‘Financial Safety Net’ report, carried out online by Opinium Research among 2,004 British adults in June, 43 per cent of those that do not have protection said the key obstacle was cost.

This is despite the findings of research carried out by the Protection Review and iPipeline among 100 consumers which found common misconceptions over the cost of protection. The study, published last month, found that most expect a policy to cost around £50 a month; the average policy bought through protection intermediary Lifesearch cost £26 per month.

Article continues after advert

According to the Bright Grey research one in 10 prefer to spend their money on other things than protection, with the average family spending £17 on their pets, £7 on chocolate and £28 on digital television services every month.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) accept they would have to drastically reduce their living costs in order to survive, in the event that the main breadwinner was diagnosed with a serious illness, suffered a disability or died.

Jennifer Gilchrist, senior product development manager at Bright Grey, said: “Everyone needs to treat themselves from time to time but by not building up a financial safety net, many could find their entire quality of life compromised by illness or even the death of a family member.

“It is particularly concerning that a quarter of all people have not even considered what they would do in the event that something like this might occur.”

One in five people (22 per cent) told the researchers they would rely upon their savings in the event their income should cease.

The average amount of savings that Britons can access immediately is £9,883, which is a £1,170 increase on figures from 2012, but still is unlikely to support a family for long considering that the average UK household expenditure exceeds £2,000 a month.

Meanwhile, a quarter (25 per cent) has not considered how they might cope with a ‘worst-case scenario’, and a small minority plan to rely exclusively on government support.