Mr Thukaram adds: “It is better to cover clients as soon as possible, because if there is sufficient information in the public domain, warning a particular business is at risk, such as we have seen with Debenhams, or employees have been made aware their jobs are being affected, they become ineligible to buy the policies.”
Jason Berry, director of sales at Uinsure, says: “In these uncertain times, ASU makes sense for everyone. However, it’s worth noting that if there is currently some speculation your job may be at risk – for example, if talk of potential redundancies has already begun at your place of employment – it is unlikely an insurer will pay out.”
Mr Harvey elaborates: “A key issue with unemployment insurance is that you can't take it out reactively – if you've been made aware of forthcoming redundancies or even rumours of approaching redundancies, you're unlikely to be able to make a successful claim on unemployment insurance, even if you take it out before you've been put out of work and otherwise meet all of the other conditions to make a claim.
"So the message would be to take it out as a preventative measure, although not at the expense of protecting your health or life with insurances such as income protection or life assurance.”
While protection is a key consideration, nothing can beat prudence: saving more, spending less and being diligent with your personal finances.
Nick Homer, head of market management, corporate risk, for Zurich, agrees: “Establishing some savings to cover a short-term income loss is a prudent step that many people could take to protect themselves financially.”
Mr Devine acknowledges people have been stung by state benefit system changes, such as Universal Credit, which has had the effect of making more people aware of the need to secure the financial wellbeing of themselves and their families, “via savings or whatever insurance protection they can afford”.
But according to Alan Lakey, founder of CI Expert, all the noise around Brexit should not detract from the reality – that the priority should be “health before redundancy”.
He explains: “You can always find employment, but a serious illness or accident could mean a permanent inability to work.”
Zurich UK’s recent ‘Cost of Resilience’ report highlighted the need to encourage people to make better financial provision for themselves. It found:
- Some 60 per cent of UK adults said a financial shock would have a negative effect on their mental health.
- Some 83 per cent say they wake up at night worrying about their finances.
- One in six admit they have no disposable income.
- Some 24 per cent say they have no savings.
- Nearly 90 per cent of people have no income protection cover.
Given these stark figures, it is important for government and the industry to help encourage people to make better financial provision, Brexit or no Brexit.