Guide to income protection

  • Understand the strain on household resources due to prolonged absence from work.
  • Grasp changes that will severely curtail the scope of state benefits.
  • Comprehend how income protection can support getting people back to work.
Guide to income protection


Income protection is one of the most useful insurance products you can purchase but take-up is low in the UK.

According to the Association of British Insurers' 2014 report, 'Welfare Reform for the 21st Century', only a small proportion of the UK populace has some form of income protection.

It revealed that fewer than 1.2 million people have bought individual income protection insurance, while approximately just two million more people are covered by group income protection insurance provided by their employer.

This means out of an estimated working population of 33 million UK adults, only 10 per cent have any form of income protection - despite the fact the UK government's austerity cuts mean relying on the state to provide may be an option for a shrinking group of individuals in the coming years.

This guide will explore why there is a need for income protection in the UK, how employers can help to bridge the income protection gap, how advisers can use income protection as part of holistic financial planning for families, and ways advisers can destroy some of the myths about insurance products.

Contributors of information to this guide are: Jennifer Gilchrist, protection proposition design for Royal London; Paul Avis, marketing director for Canada Life Group Insurance; Andy Simmons, senior income protection specialist at Vitality Life; Martin Noone, managing director, workplace health and protection at Legal & General; Steve Bryan, director of intermediary at Legal & General; Jeff Woods, business development director at Sesame Bankhall Group; Paul Litster, managing director of Specialists4Protection; Mark Dennison, principal of LightBlue UK; Adam Higgs, adviser services and head of research for F&TRC; Damian O'Connor, managing director of Roxburgh Financial Management; Robert Harvey, independent protection expert; Emma Wilson, employee benefits consultant; Meena Ibrahim, independent protection adviser; Tom Conner, director at Drewberry; Katharine Moxham, spokesman for Group Risk Development; Iain Clarke, distribution and marketing director for British Friendly; Nick Homer, group protection manager, corporate propositions for Zurich; Stephen Crosbie, protection director at Aegon UK; and the Association of British Insurers.


In this guide

  1. What is the waiting period for the new support for mortgage interest (SMI) payments?

  2. What makes it very important to have a safety net in place, according to Mr Simmons?

  3. What is the average cost of group income protection per employee each year, according to the Department of Work & Pensions?

  4. How many people did the Group Risk Development (Grid) say received group income protection payments in 2015?

  5. How many UK adults do not have even modest savings of £500, according to the Money Advice Service ?

  6. What does the ABI say was the payout rate across critical illness, income protection and life insurance in 2015?

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