Income Protection 

How income protection can help families

This article is part of
Guide to income protection

How income protection can help families

Income protection is more than just a financial safety net for the working individual - it can be a boon for the whole family, says Iain Clark, distribution and marketing director for British Friendly.

While helping the individual policyholder, it is also important that advisers and providers work together to consider the effect on the wider family - on school fees and whether protection policies might also cover children's illnesses should these arise.

Mr Clark says policy add-ons and support services attached to income protection and group income protection policies can be very valuable for families.

He says: "We pushed in 2016 to ensure there is more to income protection than the payout, although that is the most important element."

For example, British Friendly introduced elements to the standard policy, such as a death benefit which pays out a lump-sum if the policyholder dies, and care assistance benefit, which pays out when the partner or child of a member needs full-time care of 35 hours or more a week.

"These kind of support services are an important part of an income protection proposition, and especially valuable to those who have dependents", he says.

Support services

Katharine Moxham, spokesman for Group Risk Development (Grid), agrees: "Group income protection products provide a financial lifeline after an extraordinary life-changing event, and support people in many ways.

"The extra support services that come with a group income protection policy can be effective in keeping people in the workplace, giving them the help they need to make life changes, while supporting them back to work."

"It's not just about the payout", says Jennifer Gilchrist, protection proposition design at Royal London. "It's about showing how the right level of support can help people get back to work."

For example, counselling as part of the policy can help the individual emotionally and mentally - 'unseen' consequences that can have an effect on the whole family.

Royal London's Helping Hand service offers counselling, helpline services and provides ways to help people recover and get back to work, so they can support their families.

As Ms Gilchrist comments: "If family members are struggling to cope with the emotional impact of a spouse's or parent's condition, they can also receive support from Helping Hand."

Canada Life provides an early intervention service, which can help as outlined in the case study below, when family and work life both get too much.

Financial wellbeing

Primarily, in addition to the support and rehabilitation services, income protection helps people provide for their families.

Andy Simmons, senior income protection specialist at Vitality Life, explains: "People often consider life insurance to leave something behind if they die, but it is less likely they will consider how to provide for their family if they are too ill to work.