Royal London reveals only 6% of renters in the UK have Income Protection

According to the latest research commissioned by Royal London, eight in ten homeowners pay a monthly mortgage but haven’t investing in Income Protection (IP) to protect their livelihood in the face of illness or injury.

Related topics:  Royal London,  New Research
Tabitha Lambie | Editor, Protection Reporter
29th January 2024
Rental Market
"It’s vital that people understand the importance of having cover beyond just life insurance."
- Jennifer Gilchrist, Protection Expert at Royal London

Of those surveyed (3,000), two thirds of homeowners in the UK don’t have any protection, putting their financial stability at risk if they’re unable to work. While the number of households safeguarding family if they were to pass away sooner than expected has increased, rising to 63% of homeowners investing in Life Insurance, Royal London remains concerned that so many haven’t considered purchasing Income Protection (IP) to sit alongside.

29% of renters have Life Insurance, and only 6% have purchased IP to guarantee a roof over their head in the face of illness or injury. Yet, men are six times, and women twelve times, more likely to become unable to work due to illness than they are to die, according to Pacific Life Re’s 30-year-old non-smoker model, set to retire at 65.

Royal London believes protection is often triggered by a life event such as marriage or buying a house. Consequently, with the average age of first-time buyers (FTBs) rising with property prices, more and more households are co-habiting couples rather than married. This leads to conversations about protection being missed or delayed.

Jennifer Gilchrist, Protection Expert at Royal London, said that with so many people in the UK already struggling to make ends meet, the thought of a family member losing their salary during the Cost-of-Living Crisis is “unimaginable.” She feels “wanting to protect yourself and your loved ones financially should hard times hits is natural, yet many families are leaving themselves exposed.”

Crucially, despite lenders no longer insisting on Life Insurance to get a mortgage, buying a home is still a significant trigger for people to buy protection. “It’s a simple way to ensure the family home is protected if the main breadwinner dies, but we need to look beyond just the risk of premature death,” Jennifer explained.

Emma Astley, Founder of CoverMyBubble Ltd, agreed that the Cost-of-Living means more families in the UK are “acutely aware of their outgoings and the need to protect their monthly bills.” From personal experience, she’s found customers get the biggest reassurance from putting cover in place for their income and expenses, rather than for their life or mortgage cover.

“As many employers don’t provide sufficient sick pay to cover for prolonged time off work, providing critical illness and income protection, gives individuals and families peace of mind that bills can still be paid when illness and injury strike,” she explained.

Emma also felt that there should be more attention on the rental market. “Accessing advice means individuals’ needs are assessed, allowing families to put in place a package that provides reassurance and gives them protection for many potential life events,” Emma concluded.

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