Carers are being urged to prioritise their own wellbeing after research found the majority lacked any form of life insurance or critical illness cover.
In a survey conducted in April this year, Scottish Widows found more than seven million of those caring for family or community members in the UK did not have life insurance.
The research showed 28 per cent of carers had a life insurance policy and 12 per cent had arranged critical illness cover.
Despite this, 20 per cent of carers who responded to the survey were unsure who would care for them if they were to fall ill themselves.
Gary Burchett, protection director at Scottish Widows, said: "There are almost 10 million carers in the UK, who do an exceptional job supporting others.
"Yet, should the unexpected happen to the carer, more than seven in ten don’t have protection cover in place to provide a financial safety net to continue that care."
The financial cost of protection was cited by survey respondents as a deterrent, with a fifth of those carers without life insurance stating they could not afford a policy.
Mr Burchett said: "Many carers think insurance is a cost they could do without. However I would encourage them to think carefully about ensuring they are adequately prepared for the future, to provide security and peace of mind."
The research was conducted online in April 2018 and surveyed 5,022 adults.
Peter Chadborn, director and adviser at Plan Money, said protection insurance marketing from insurers or advisers tended to focus on obvious triggers for need, typically a house purchase or having a young family.
He said: "So this is effectively promoting financial dependence either sideways, with a partner, or down a generation, to children.
"We tend not to consider the financial dependence looking up a generation such as to an older relative. So this survey highlights the important issue or promoting the need for carers to consider those who are reliant on them and why protection insurance might be essential."