One of the most common reasons my clients say they haven’t considered policies like Income Protection, is the widely held belief that “the state will provide”.
Many people tend to assume that just as the NHS will always open its doors in an emergency, the welfare system will fork out when times are hard.
Of course, the UK is fortunate to have one of the best benefit systems in the world but that doesn’t mean it can support everyone – particularly not at the level of living to which we’ve become accustomed.
My last blog was a stark reminder that the level of Statutory Sick Pay is a mere £88.45 a week – not much to survive on should you require an extended period off sick. But there are other areas in which the general public are still misinformed.
- One of the biggest threats to us all is the popularity of our welfare system itself. A political hot topic, it’s under constant scrutiny and reinvention. That means that today’s system could be gone tomorrow – so basing your financial forecasts on current policy is foolish in the extreme.
The Income Protection Task Force has estimated that 12-15 million workers have a clear need for Income Protection insurance over and above the state provision, even at today’s standards.
- Another issue is that IP is still seen as a high-earner’s security blanket but recent research by Unum has shown that it’s the “squeezed middle” – those earning over £25,000 – who can see incomes falling by up to half if they rely on state benefits and have no financial protection in place.
The biggest problem for IP customers is the sheer complexity of the whole thing. It requires individuals to become overnight experts in order to navigate the ins and outs the system. That’s where independent advisers like myself come in – we don’t charge a penny and there is no obligation to buy, but we can explain how things work, crunch the numbers with you and help clarify a truly mindboggling arena.
You can call me any time on 0800 069 6990 or keep reading – next week I’ll be outlining 5 questions you might want to ask yourself before buying Income Protection.