Or, how income protection insurance might just be the best present you could give yourself.
Well, here we are again. The festive season is upon us and has been for quite a few weeks now if the retailers are to be believed. Love it or loathe it, you now won’t be able to walk through your town, or view any kind of media, without the reminder that Christmas is coming. If, like me, you can’t get enough of these early pointers: the same old ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas’ hits trailing you around the department store, the takeover of your morning take-out coffee by gingerbread syrups and cups dressed as elves, the way that everything is given a glitter and sparkle makeover, then the enforced festivity is all rather enjoyable. However, for the more pragmatically minded who sensibly see very clearly that all the razzmatazz is just a ruse to part you from your hard-earned cash it all just starts far too early and is too ridiculous for words.
Whichever side of the Christmas fence (or sleigh perhaps?) you are on, one fact is incontrovertible. Christmas is expensive. This time of year seems to be a never-ending conveyor belt of expense with festive impulse buys trying to trip you up at every turn.
At any time of the year, being unable to work through accident or illness is a frightening prospect. With the extra expense of Christmas it’s even more of a worry. Do you have the security of an income protection policy to fall back on?
Practise good financial planning: put aside a bit of money each month towards those Christmas expenses and invest in an affordable income protection policy to safeguard those Christmases to come.
Income protection insurance is an insurance policy that pays out if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. It usually pays out until retirement, death or until you are able to return to work. There are also short-term income protection policies available at lower cost. It’s worth knowing that rehabilitation services to help you get back to work are an additional benefit of many income protection policies that people aren’t generally aware of.
The independent consumer advisory group Which? states; ‘the one protection policy every working adult in the UK should consider is the very one most of us don’t have – income protection’. Figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that each year around 250,000 people leave their employment due to ill health. The association estimates that at least 10.8 million households in the UK need a greater income replacement safety net than the state can offer them. This is why last month they published a proposal entitled, ‘Welfare Reform for the 21st Century: The Role of Income Protection Insurance’. The ABI are calling for a more widespread take-up of income protection insurance to work alongside the UK’s welfare system. This would serve to bring the system up to date and ensure people are not left in financial distress if they are unable to work.
Many people put off investing in an income protection plan because they feel it’s a waste of money. Protection Review reports that the public believe that an average of 38% of income protection insurance claims are paid out whereas the reality is very different. The ABI has published data showing that 91.1% of all individual income protection claims last year were paid, saving those families involved from having to face a life-changing financial nightmare.
So, here’s an idea. Next time you’re trawling the internet searching for the perfect present for your teenage godson or elderly great-aunt take a little break to search for income protection advice. No really. It might not have the glamour of a gift-wrapped box of luxurious treats but it could mean the difference between a very bleak Christmas future and one where you’re able to maintain the expectations of your Christmases past.
The additional financial pressure that most of us are under at Christmas highlights the precariousness of maintaining our lifestyle were the worst to happen and you were left unable to work. Comparing income protection insurance quotes and investing in an affordable policy could buy you peace of mind – a priceless gift.