Insurance: Why are we more likely to protect pets and possessions than ourselves?

Posted on

Did you know that people are twice as likely to insure a pet than they are to take out protection for themselves? It’s a decision that could leave some people financially vulnerable.

According to a study, over a third of UK employees said they have, or would take out, pet insurance. It’s a step that can reduce the chance of unexpected pet bills by paying regular premiums instead. Yet just 17% would take steps to protect themselves through purchasing Income Protection.

It’s a similar picture with other types of insurance. You probably took out contents insurance without a second thought, it’s something that can offer you peace of mind. Yet, did you also consider purchasing critical illness cover or life insurance? Whilst personal protection is often an afterthought or promoted by an event, they can improve your financial security and confidence in the future.

Our apathy for insurance policies that focus on ourselves is often down to us thinking ‘it will never happen to me’. But the truth is that over your lifetime, an accident or illness is likely to have an impact. Take the three illnesses that all critical illness policies must cover:

  • Cancer: Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer and it’s estimated that 50% of people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.
  • Heart attack: Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK and there is a hospital admission due to a heart attack every five minutes in the UK.
  • Stroke: Strokes are the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK and someone experiences a stroke every five minutes.

Despite the startling figures, more than eight in ten (81%) of UK homeowners don’t have any form of income protection in place.

How does financial protection work?

Under certain conditions, a financial protection product will either pay out a lump sum or start making ongoing payments. If you’re unable to work for an extended period of time, it can help plug the gap between your income and outgoings.

How and when a policy will pay out will depend on the type you opt for and the terms. Broadly speaking, there are three main types of financial protection policy:

1. Income protection: This type of policy will pay out when you’re unable to work due to an accident or illness following a deferred period. It will pay out a portion of your usual salary, say 70%, on a regular basis until the policy term finished, you return to work or retire. The ongoing payments can help you keep up with financial commitments even if your usual wage isn’t coming in.

2. Critical illness: Thousands of people are diagnosed with a critical illness every year. It’s a diagnosis that can take some time to get your head around and it may change your plans significantly. Critical illness cover will pay out a lump sum on the diagnosis of certain illnesses noted in the policy. It can help give you some time to come to terms with the diagnosis if you’re unable to work or make adaptations.

3. Life insurance: A life insurance policy can give you peace of mind that, should something happen to you, your loved ones will be financially secure. It pays out a lump sum on your death. Dying isn’t something anyone wants to think about, but taking out the right policy for your circumstances could help your family pay off the mortgage or maintain school fees during a time when they are grieving.

All financial protection policies will require you to make premium payments. How much these are will depend on the provider, you and your lifestyle. You should shop around before purchasing a product and be sure to check what it will cover before taking it out.

How does financial protection fit into your financial plan?

Protection products shouldn’t be looked at in isolation, but rather an important part of the bigger picture.

When you’re creating a financial plan, one of the things you should be doing is asking ‘what if?’ No one wants to think about what will happen if they become too ill to work or are involved in an accident that takes months to recover from. However, it’s a step that can help you understand how resilient your finances are.

Financial protection should fit into your plan alongside an emergency fund and the benefits your employer may offer. These can offer you a safety net when it’s needed most, keeping you on track to secure your goals.

As you ask what would happen if I were unable to work for six months, you may find a gap in your finances. Even a relatively small break in earning an income could set your goals back more than expected. Choosing the appropriate protection product for you can help fill those gaps and provide a sense of security.

To discuss your financial protection needs, please contact us.

We aim to keep our clients up to date on interesting and relevant financial news.

You can sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter by email, even if you’re not yet a client. Sign-up using the form below.

Client testimonials

I have always found Black Swan to be caring and understanding of my quirky lifestyle. I always feel they try to get me the best returns while respecting my current needs.

Sally Muir

A client since 2011

We would be very happy to recommend the support and service we receive.

Valerie Locks

A client since 2010

I have always been completely useless regarding finance - thankfully our financial adviser is not! I've retired with far more than I ever expected and investments continue to grow safely. So - thank you!

Bernadette Jane Warner

A client since 2000

Very happy with the professional service I have received and feel a lot happier now with my finances put in order.

Martin Field

A client since 2011

Julie Cooper was recommended to me by a work colleague. She has been very helpful, professional and has explained everything well. I would definitely recommend her services to anyone else who are interested in a financial review.

Steven Rooke

A client since 2018

…Service has been first class.

Hugh Fells

A client since 2012

My face to face meetings with Rob Young and Jessica Lyons have always been very open and understandable. My questions have been answered clearly and I have left feeling that my financial matters are in good hands.

Sandra Jack

A client since 2000

[A] safe pair of hands in a complex financial world.

Gary Middlehurst

A client since 2003

A reliable company with good communication skills and good knowledge of the financial markets.

Alan Evetts

A client since 2014

Maureen Pembridge is a long-time trusted advisor to our family. The market might fluctuate but her attention to detail is consistent.

Linda Burnard

A client since 2000

I am pleased to recommend Julie as a trustworthy financial advisor. She explains financial jargon in plain language, and always listens carefully to my particular financial needs and has helped me make the best of my savings.

Carolann Samuels

A client since 2010

I have always been satisfied with the way that Black Swan has handled my account. And I have always found the staff very helpful whenever I need to call the office.

Robert Anthony Matthews

A client since 2012

An excellent personal service from a person I know and trust.

Michael Dalton

A client since 2010

I am getting a very good services from Black Swan, they have got my investments sorted out which was in a bit of a mess.

Roy Jakens

A client since 2012

A good, efficient team providing clear ideas to shape a winning strategy.

Adrian Michael Levenstein

A client since 2011

Black Swan is a company to be trusted, with friendly staff and professional advisors.

David Brian Jennings

A client since 2017

I have been with Black Swan for many years. I have never wished to change anything. They give a good straight forward service.

Martin Barrett Brooks

A client since 2010

Andy Peters has been invaluable in firstly combining several pension pots and then giving excellent investment advice. It has given us a great deal of comfort to know that our financial affairs are in such good hands.

James Guillum Scott

A client since 2014

I find my financial advisor easy to talk to and feel that she understands my lifestyle. She is always available for help when I need her and explains in words that I can understand.

Margaret Ena Glasgow

A client since 2000

Andy is a first rate Director, excellent communicator and leader.

Ross Perry

A client since

Black Swan Financial Planning and Andrew in particular, are very clever at working out how risk averse we are, and coming up with solutions that we feel comfortable with. We are happy in the knowledge that we can continue to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Andrew Peters is a very, very friendly person who is great to chat to and easy to deal with. He explains things very clearly in layman’s terms, and if we still don’t understand, he explains it until we do!

Alan & Jane Dyer

Clients since 2012

We have always found Rob [Young] to be very approachable and knowledgeable. We have every confidence in the advice given and feel comfortable with the decisions we’ve made. There are certain opportunities that we wouldn’t have known about if Rob hadn’t brought them to light, which makes the advice good value for money as far as we’re concerned.

Peter & Pauline O’Halloran

Clients since 2013

Rob [Young] is extremely knowledgeable. I knew nothing about the different types of trusts which will not only secure my income in retirement, but also leave a legacy for my children. I’m glad that I sought his advice when I did.

Sarah Wilson

A client since 2015

I am extremely happy with the service afforded to me by the company and my adviser Julie Cooper.

Geoff Coxell

A client since 2010

My wife and myself have been dealing with Black Swan for a number of years. We have met with different representatives from the company over the years and have found all very helpful in their own way. We met with James [Anderson] a few years ago and found him very helpful and knowledgeable. He keeps in contact with us on a regular basis. We find the Company information very helpful and we feel very secure with our finances.

Andrew Kirchen

A client since 2015

I have always found my adviser to be easy to contact, very professional in his approach, yet friendly and understanding. I have a sense of an experienced company behind him, really on the ball financially and with good standards.

B McBean

A client since 2011

Partner with the most reliable and experienced team of advisers

Enter your details & we'll be in touch to discuss your needs.
Alternatively, contact us directly and speak to a member of the team.

    Subscribe to our newsletter