Advisers must tackle the problem of Britons being financially unprepared for long-term, health-related absence from work, the head of marketing at Cirencester Friendly has said.
Rebecca Young said too few families had sufficient income insurance in place should one or both of those working become ill or be made redundant.
Although advisers helped people to save more, she called on those offering advice to make sure they discussed appropriate protection cover as well.
Ms Young added: “Protecting earnings is an important aspect of sound financial planning”.
Her comments came as Cirencester Friendly commissioned YouGov to conduct research among 2,007 adults, of whom 1,332 were in work.
This revealed the majority of Britons did not have adequate financial safeguards in the event of illness, with 53 per cent claiming they would depend on the state.
According to the Office for National Statistics, more than 2.5m people claiming illness-related benefits have not worked for three or more months, and their risk of financial shortfall has been influenced by their lack of savings to protect their income.
Tom Conner, director of East Sussex-based Drewberry, said: “The average family would need to cut its household expenditure by 48 per cent to survive on incapacity benefit. The job now is to try and work out how best to use this information to engage the general public on income protection.”