Life Insurance  

Two-thirds without life insurance despite health worries

Two-thirds without life insurance despite health worries

People in the UK are still failing to take out life insurance policies despite health problems topping their list of concerns, according to Lifesearch.

More than two thirds of the UK adult population either hasn’t purchased any life insurance (57 per cent) or doesn’t know whether they have or not (11 per cent), according to LifeSearch’s 2017 Health, Wealth and Happiness report.

This is despite the fact that 14.3 million – or 63 per cent – of households in England were owner-occupiers in 2015 to 2016, and life insurance can help to pay off a mortgage in the event of a family member’s death.

LifeSearch’s survey of 2005 UK adults in June revealed 29 per cent of respondents said poor health was their biggest worry, followed by poor health of family members and death of a family member (both at 24 per cent).

Only just over a quarter (27 per cent) of over-55s said they had life insurance - 2 per cent of whom said they had cover arranged via their employer – with the average sum for which they were insured standing at £72,690.

In contrast, nearly a third (31 per cent) of 18 to 34-year-olds said they had life insurance – 5 per cent of those via their employer – and they were insured for the most out of all the age groups at an average £148,396. 

Meanwhile, 36 per cent of 35 to 54-year-olds reported that they had life insurance – 4 per cent through their employer – at an average of £131,108.

Northern Ireland and the north east of England reported the greatest life insurance coverage at 42 per cent of respondents – featuring just above London, where 39 per cent had coverage.

The area with the lowest coverage was the East Midlands (19 per cent).

Emma Thomson, life office relationship director at LifeSearch, said: “It is worrying that a total of 68 per cent of people either aren’t covered or simply aren’t sure - especially when you consider that life cover would be an essential purchase for most, if not all, of the 63 per cent of home-owners in England.

“What is certain, given the low levels of insurance take-up revealed in this research, is that there is a need for greater financial education to help consumers protect the ongoing happiness of themselves and their family should circumstances change.”

simon.allin@ft.com