The managing director of UK protection at Friends Life said it was “unbelievable” and “hard to comprehend” that only a third of Londoners have any financial safety net in place, in spite of the growing value of homes in the capital.
A poll of 3,777 homeowners commissioned by Friends Life also revealed that Northern Ireland and Scotland are leading the way in closing the protection gap, with 62 and 50.8 per cent of insured households respectively.
The South East, where house prices are also rocketing, saw a comparatively high protection take-up rate of 45.8 per cent but only 42.6 per cent of households in the South West were insured.
The research also found that only 7 per cent of mortgage payers have income protection, in spite of repeated attempts by the protection industry to raise awareness of the product, while only 14 per cent of homes had a critical illness policy in place. Demand for life insurance, by comparison, remains robust, with two in five households having bought a policy.
Overall, half of the country’s mortgage payers – equivalent to six million homes – have protection.
Mr Payne said: “With the average house price in London now over £450,000, property in the capital is a huge investment. That figure is likely to rise further, yet Londoners do least to protect their greatest asset.”