“Would statutory sick pay or benefits from the state be enough for your client and their family to live on and continue the lifestyle they enjoyed before?”
Aviva’s latest Family Finances study showed that the typical family has less than £3,000 in savings, so while most people have a bit of a savings buffer, it is easy to see how this could quickly dwindle without another source of income coming in.
As well as handouts from the state or sick pay, Louise Colley, protection distribution director for Aviva, says customers might consider help from family and friends, or cutting back and managing on one salary as alternatives to family protection.
However, in reality Ms Colley says most of the things a parent does for free such as childcare or being the taxi driver would incur a cost if someone else had to do them. So even if the surviving partner is a high earner, Ms Colley points out these costs could still cause financial problems.
She says: “Naturally family and friends would do all they could to help in times of difficulty, but very few could commit to supporting another family long term.”
Peter Hamilton, head of retail protection propositions of Zurich, points out while many people believe the state will provide if they suffer an accident, sickness or disability these days benefits are designed to avoid poverty, not to maintain your lifestyle.