Why Income Protection Insurance?
It is designed to protect your monthly income should you suffer an accident, sickness or unemployment.
Designed to cover your core monthly financial commitments, such as your 🏡 mortgage/rent, bills and food.
41% of employees have been made redundant or suffered long term ill health during their working life. Met Life
Income Protection is the one insurance product every working adult should consider. Which? Money
Speak to our expert advisers or get an instant online quote comparing the UK’s leading insurers.
What Does Income Protection Cover?
Accident & Sickness
When the ‘Own Occupation’ definition of incapacity is used the policy can pay out for any medical condition that prevents you from working in your own specific job role.
As Income Protection cover is not limited to a set list of conditions and with many insurers not having any standard exclusions it is considered the most comprehensive form of incapacity insurance available.
Some plans provide the option to protect against the risk of forced redundancy alternative you are able to take out a separate Unemployment Insurance policy.
How Does Income Insurance Work?
You cease working and earning your income due to accident, sickness or forced unemployment.
You make a claim with the insurer which may include completing a claims form, a GP Note (or redundancy letter, for Unemployment Cover).
The insurer starts paying your chosen monthly benefit after your initial deferred period has been completed.
Your policy will pay out a monthly benefit either until you return to work or reach the maximum payout length
Do I Need Income Protection Insurance?
When deciding whether it is worthwhile it makes sense to weigh up your risks and the potential consequences:
The Incapacity Risk:
1 in 10 people have been unable to work due to illness or injury for +6 months (The Guardian/Unum, 2011).
With state incapacity benefit of an absolute maximum of £109.65 per week (after an initial wait of 41 weeks on a lower benefit for employed people), someone with a salary of £30,000 would suffer an 80.2% fall in income.
If you lost your income how would you cover your monthly outgoings if you didn’t have any income protection?
Your Key Options
Choose your level of cover
Depending on the insurer, it is possible to cover anywhere from 50% to 70% of your gross (pre-tax) salary.
Choose your deferred period
How long could you survive without an income before the policy pays out? The shortest deferred period is as little as 1 day while the longest tens to be 12 months.
Choose your payout length
Short-term plans can payout for a maximum of 12 or 24 months and long-term plans can continue paying out a claim right up to your retirement age at the end of your working life.
What Is Income Protection Insurance?
Income Protection is designed to protect between 50% and 70% of your gross annual salary should you be unable to work due to accident or sickness 🤒.
If you need to take time off work to recover from your condition, this type of salary insurance will pay out monthly benefits to cover your regular financial commitments such as mortgage/rent, utilities and other bills.
Some of the key features include:
- Cover up to 70% of your gross annual income
- Protect your income right up to your expected retirement age
- Choose when you need the policy to start paying a claim
- Make multiple claims over the course of the policy
- Most policies have very few if any exclusions
Having suitable accident and sickness insurance ensures that even if you are forced to take a break from work, you and your family will still be able to cover your typical monthly expenses, such as your mortgage payments, utility bills and food shopping.
Do I Need Income Insurance?
In the 3 months to December 2017, there were 2 million people in the UK not looking for work due to long-term sickness.
There are many reasons to purchase Income Protection, especially if your workplace does not provide adequate Sick Pay or offer a Group Sick Pay Insurance.
Our 2017 Drewberry Wealth & Protection survey revealed several unsettling facts about the state of UK finances:
- 2 in 5 people have no more than £1,000 in savings to fall back on
- 1 in 4 people have less than £100 at the end of the month after covering necessary expenses
- 12% of people surveyed described their finances as ‘hanging by a thread’ while over 2% described their personal finances as being ‘in serious trouble’
- More than 16% of people have upward of £10,000 worth of personal debt, excluding mortgage debt.
Many people cannot afford to use their savings to cover their monthly bills if they stop earning. In addition, Employment Support Allowance offers limited support starting as low as £73.10 per week if you’re over 25 and £57.90 a week if you’re under 25.
When you consider that average weekly spending for UK households was £554.20 in the financial year ending 2017, it’s unlikely that ESA would come even close to being able to support your lifestyle while you are not working.
Having seen it first hand, I can’t emphasis enough the power of financial support in helping people get back on their feet. For some people it can quite literally mean the difference between life and death.
CEO of Protection Review and Co-Chairman of the Income Protection Task Force (IPTF)
If you have an accident or are too ill to work, Income Protection Insurance remains the best option to help you keep up with your finances while you recover.
Try Our Income Risk Calculator…
You can try our Income Riskometer to see how at risk your income is should something happen to you.
Answer 5 questions about your circumstances and it will calculate how safe your lifestyle is should you be unable to earn an income due to illness, injury or forced unemployment.
When Should I Consider Buying Income Protection?
When You’re Young and Healthy
Unfortunately some people wait to apply for protection insurance policies when they are at the point of realising that their health is at risk and that they are not as young and financially free as they used to be. However, at this point it is usually too late to get a great deal on Salary Insurance policies.
Instead, the best time to buy a policy is when you are young and healthy. The healthier you are when applying for a policy, the better deal you are likely to get on your policy. If you choose to guarantee your premiums, you can also keep the cost of your policy low throughout the life of your policy.
With guaranteed premiums, if you buy a policy in your 20s, you’ll effectively lock in the cost of a policy then (reflecting your low risk of claiming) and benefit from it for the rest of your working life, even as you get older and the risk to the insurer rises.
Your Career is Still Young
If you are getting closer to retirement age and your career is winding down, it may not make a lot of sense to protect your income.
If you are seriously injured or fall ill and are only a few years away from retirement and you are entitled to take your pension early, it may make sense to simply retire rather than claim benefits in the hope of returning to work.
On the other hand, if you are still in the early stages of your career, you still have your whole professional life ahead of you and many opportunities for an Income Protection policy to come in handy.
When You Experience Life Changes
There are certain lifestyle events where we tend to take on more responsibility and realise just how important it is to protect our salary and income should we suffer an illness or injury which renders us unable to earn a wage. These are all things that contribute to our monthly expenditure but are certainly worth protecting.
- Buying a home
Our home is often our most valuable asset we own and many of us commit the majority of our working lives to paying off a mortgage. To ensure that you can keep up with your payments even in desperate times, it is worth it to take out an insurance policy to protect your salary. Without a regular income, there remains the risk that we may one day not be able to afford to make payments, which can have dire consequences for you and your family.
- Changing Jobs or Getting Promoted
If you already have an Income Protection policy when you are promoted, a Guaranteed Insurability Option may allow you to increase your policy cover to match your new salary without needing to provide any medical evidence. If you don’t have a policy yet, however, getting a new job is a great time to take out a policy, especially if your employer does not provide you with any insurance protection through a company funded scheme or offers only limited sick pay.
- Becoming self employed
Income Insurance is especially important for self-employed professionals. Without any sick pay to fall back on, being unable to work means that you are completely cut off from income. Whether you are a tradesmen or an IT contractor, it is sensible to consider protecting yourself financially with comprehensive sickness insurance so you do not need to worry where your next salary payment is coming from if you are ill to work.
- Birth of a child
If you are the main breadwinner of your household, having an extra dependant join the family who will rely on your salary is another reason to make sure your income is adequately protected.
Speak to one of our insurance experts today to find out whether you could benefit from an Income Protection policy.
If you already have a policy and your circumstances have changed, it may well be possible to adjust the policy without having to cancel it. Doing so saves you re-applying at an older age where it could end up more expensive.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry
Income Protection or Critical Illness Insurance
It can be confusing as to whether Income Protection or Critical Illness is the best option and with many of our clients first coming into contact with these policies when they are buying a home more often than not the first option they are made aware of is CriticalI Illness Insurance.
Which?, the consumer protection group assert that only about 50% of people off work for 6 months or more due to accident or sickness would receive a payout from a critical illness policy(1).
Our survey showed twice as many people had Critical Illness Insurance when compared to Income Protection, although having some form of protection is better than none for most working adults Income Protection is likely to be a far more comprehensive and cost-effective option.
For more information on the key differences see our Income Protection vs Critical Illness Insurance Guide.
It is good to see yet more very interesting Drewberry research. I think it highlights the fact that we don’t have a hierarchy of needs in protection insurance and while we don’t products may be sold without the main focus being on customer need.
Critical Illness does a very important job but I believe Income Protection should outsell it by a significant margin.
Peter le Beau MBE FCII JP
Le Beau Visage and Seven Families Initiative
How Does Income Protection Work?
If you are ill or injured in such a way that leaves you incapable of working and earning a salary, Income Protection Insurance will pay out monthly benefits to cover a proportion of your income.
Unlike Critical Illness Cover, which only covers policyholders for serious health conditions on a predetermined list, Income Protection covers nearly every illness or injury that prevents you from doing your job resulting in a loss of income.
This can even include mental health problems like depression as well as musculoskeletal issues such as a bad back neither of which are seen as ‘serious’ by Critical Illness Insurance providers and would not be covered.
How to claim on an Income Protection policy?
You are injured or fall ill and become incapable of carrying out your duties at work.
Visit your doctor to receive an official diagnosis of your condition and take leave from work with an appropriate medical certificate
Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible and provide them with a completed claims form and a medical report from your GP or a medical specialist. The method required to contact your provider’s claims team is usually included in your policy documents.
After your provider has gotten back to you and approved your claim, they will inform you how and when you will begin receiving your benefits. You will need to continue paying premiums until you reach the end of your policy’s deferred period.
If you are still not fit to return to work by the time you have reached the end of your policy’s deferred period, your insurance provider will begin paying out benefits on a monthly basis to mimic a percentage of your pre-tax salary. If you have a waiver of premium, your insurer will arrange to refund you your premiums while you are claiming benefits.
If you have a short-term Income Insurance policy, you will be able to claim your benefits for a maximum of 1 or 2 years. If you have long-term salary insurance, you will be able to continue to claim your insurance benefits until you reach retirement age or the agreed-upon cease age of your policy.
Once you each the end of your policy’s maximum claim duration or if you are recovered enough to return to work, your benefits will stop.
Paying claims is the most important thing the protection industry does and there have been real developments recently in paying claims faster and making the claims process far easier for customers.
Some insurers can now even handle the claim over the telephone without having to send out a claim form.
CEO of Protection Review and Co-Chairman of the Income Protection Task Force (IPTF)
What is Not Covered by Income Protection?
The vast majority of income protection insurance policies do not have any standard exclusions, meaning that the policy could pay out for any medical condition that prevented you from working in your normal job (provided you have Own Occupation cover).
The plans that do have standard exclusions usually restrict these to drug abuse, self harm or war and civil commotion.
Income Protection with pre-existing conditions
When applying for a policy, you will be asked by your insurer to provide information about your medical history, declaring any medical conditions you may have suffered from in the past.
During the underwriting process, conditions that you have previously suffered from may be excluded from your policy. This means that you will not be able to claim for injuries or illnesses relating to these pre-existing conditions.
However, this depends on the severity of these conditions. Minor disclosures may not result in any exclusion for that condition at all (depending on the insurer). Otherwise, you may be able to serve a period on the policy where you don’t have any advice, medication or treatment for a condition and have it included at a later date.
If you have suffered a medical condition or partake in a hazardous hobby, please get in touch. One of our advisers can take down the details, call the underwriting departments at each insurer and let you know which insurer is likely to offer you the best terms.
It’s very common for one insurer to apply an exclusion where another insurer is willing to be more lenient and we can help you find the right salary insurance for your needs.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry
Our Client Stories
Income Protection Policy Options Explained
At application you will be given a range of cover options to help you tailor your Salary Protection to your needs. All of these options will affect the level of cover you will have access to and the cost of your policy.
How much can I cover?
Depending on the insurer, it is possible to cover between 50-70% of your gross salary, with the benefits free from income tax.
While it might be tempting to opt for the highest level of cover, we often advise that you instead try to match your cover with your typical outgoings to avoid over insuring yourself and paying unnecessarily high premiums. To find out how much cover you need, calculate your average monthly expenditure and match it to a percentage of your monthly income.
What is a deferred period?
The Deferred Period is the length of time you need to be off work before your Income Protection policy kicks in and starts paying benefits. Your insurance provider will offer you several options for your policy’s deferred period, although options can typically range from as short as 1 day up to 12 months or more.
Income Protection policies will not pay out any benefits until the policyholder has stopped receiving full income, including sick pay. For that reason, it is most common for policyholders to set their Income Protection deferred period to match their sick pay entitlement, i.e. have it kick in once their entitlement to full sick pay has finished.
The longer the deferred period you choose, the more you can save on your policy’s premiums, which means that there are some incentives to choosing a slightly longer deferred period. However, saving money on your policy isn’t always worth it if you run out of savings before you reach the end of your deferred period.
To find a deferred period that’s right for you, contact us today on 01273646484 and speak to our advisers about your policy options. We will take your personal circumstances into account when making our recommendations and help you find the right balance between affordable premiums and effective cover.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry
How long can I be covered for?
The cease ageof your policy is the age at will your policy will end and you will no longer be able to claim income insurance benefits.
You choose the cease age of your plan when you take it out, most insurers will allow you to set the maximum cease at between 65 and 70 years old. However, the older you set your policy’s cease age the more expensive your policy will be because of the higher risk of you claiming during the later years of cover.
To reduce the cost of cover, we often recommend lowering the cease age to perhaps age 60, providing you’d be comfortable enough with other income sources for the benefit to stop at this point.
How long will it pay out for?
You will have a choice when applying for your policy to take out short-term cover or long-term cover, which is one of the most important choices to make when tailoring your policy to your needs.
Short-Term Income Protection will only pay out benefits for a maximum of 1 or 2 years. Regardless of whether or not you are well enough to return to work, you will no longer be able to claim for this condition after you meet the end of your policy’s maximum payout period. Your policy will still be active right up to your cease age as long as you continue to pay your premiums, but you will only be able to claim for a limited period each time.
Long-term Income Protection, on the other hand, has no limit on your payout period. If you have a long-term illness or injury, you can continue claiming Income Protection benefits until you are well enough to work, retire, or reach your policy’s cease age.
While the option you choose may depend on what you can afford, we usually recommend long-term cover. This is because severe illness and injuries can take years to recover from and short-term policies may not always provide you with the cover you need.
People applying for Income Protection should be careful about applying for short-term cover. You can find out more about why you need to beware of certain short term policies in our Income Protection vs Payment Protection Guide.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry
Guaranteed, age-banded or reviewable premiums?
The type of premiums you choose will affect how the cost of your policy changes over time.
- Guaranteed Premiums sometimes start out more costly, but do not change in price throughout your policy (provided you do not change your level of cover). This can ensure they work out significantly cheaper over time.
- Age Banded Premiums reflect your age and increase in price as you age. This increase either follows a fixed percentage increase per year, or your policy increase follows a tiered system pre-determined by your insurer.
- Reviewable Premiums are reviewed on a regular basis – typically per year – and adjusted to reflect your changed circumstances and the changed circumstances of your insurer.
The type of premiums that you choose will depend on your personal situation. If you are young and healthy, you may benefit from guaranteed premiums that will be fixed at a low price.
While guaranteed and age-banded premiums have their uses, we normally recommend that applicants steer clear of policies with reviewable premiums. This is because your insurer’s circumstances are taken into consideration when reviewing your premiums, which means that an increase in cost may be completely out of your control and may render your policy unaffordable.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry
What is indexation?
To ensure that your insurance benefits keep up with the rate of inflation, most insurers give you the option to index link your Income Protection policy.
This means that your insurer will regularly assess any changes in the Retail Price Index and adjust your benefits to match these changes.
Beware, however that your premiums will also be adjusted to match inflation rates and some insurers may also increase them further.
Optional Unemployment Cover
Some insurers offer optional unemployment cover to add to your policy. The add-on cover will pay out for a limited time if you are made forcibly redundant by no fault of your own or if you have to leave work in order to become a full-time carer.
Great! Efficient and polite service, more interested in finding the right product for you than pushing the hard sell. Would definitely recommend.
How Much Does Income Protection Cost?
The cost of Income Protection will not be the same for everyone. The pricing of your policy will be decided by a range of factors relating to your policy options and your personal circumstances.
The following factors in particular are the ones that will have the most affect on the cost of your policy:
- The monthly benefit – Naturally the more you want to insure per month the higher the monthly premium will be, just as it costs more to insure an expensive car compared to a cheaper one.
- The deferred period – The longer you have to be off work ill or injured before the policy kicks in and starts paying out the lower the premium because this reduces the likelihood of you claiming on the policy.
- The policy cease age – The longer the policy runs the more chance there is that you will need to claim and therefore the higher the premium charged.
- Your age – The older you are when you take out the policy the higher the chance that you’ll need to make a claim and therefore the premium is higher.
- Your smoker status – The risk of serious illness increases significantly if you smoke and the premium charged by the insurer will reflect this.
- Your medical history – If you have suffered from an illness or injury in the past, the insurer may place an exclusion on the policy or decide to offer cover for that same ailment but increase the premium charged due to the increased chance of a claim being made for that condition.
Related Income Protection Guides
Why Own Occupation Cover is so Important!
One of the most important features of any Salary Protection policy is the definition of incapacity your policy uses. This feature is what is needed to decide whether you will be able to claim on a policy.
There are four main definitions that you will find from UK policies:
You will be able to claim on your policy providing your injury or illness prevents you from carrying out your duties in your own occupation.
You will be able to claim on your policy as long as your injury or illness prevents you from working in your own occupation or an occupation that you are qualified for. So for instance a builder who hurt their back may not be able to build anymore but could be ‘suited’ to selling building supplies in a hardware store.
You will only be able to claim on your policy if you are completely incapable of working. Your injury or illness would need to be severe enough to prevent you from working in any possible occupation.
Activities of Daily Living
This definition of incapacity is usually reserved for policyholders in very high risk occupations. With this definition, you will only be able to claim if your injury or illness is severe enough to impede your daily living, preventing you from carrying out certain everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or writing your name.
Make sure your policy has an Own Occupation Definition of Incapacity!
We firmly believe that own occupation cover is the best option when it comes to defining your incapacity. This is because it allows you to claim on your policy as long as you are incapable of doing your specific job. However, with a different definition of incapacity, you may not be able to claim when you need it.
Be careful because some policies use the suited occupation incapacity definition rather than the own occupation definition.
With own occupation cover, for example, someone like a dentist who requires the use of their hands may be able to claim insurance benefits for a severe hand injury. However, if the dentist’s policy had a lesser occupation definition the insurer could well decline a claim on the grounds that the hand injury is not severe enough to prevent them from working in a less demanding role.
Occupation Definition Calculator
Make sure your Income Protection covers you in your 'Own Occupation'!
Too often individuals take out income protection without being fully aware of the incapacity definition on which their plan would pay out.
Will the plan pay out if I am unable to do my current job role? Or will it only pay out if I am unable to do any occupation?
If you do not already have income protection this tool should provide you with guidance as to what to look out for and to ensure you do not fall foul of a lesser occupation definition.
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry Insurance
Compare Top UK Income Protection Companies 2018
In 2016, the top UK insurance companies paid out between 85% and 98% of Income Protection claims made that year. While this doesn’t decide which insurers are the best, published claims statistics prove insurers’ commitment to transparency.
Is it Worth Speaking to a Financial Adviser?
Everyone’s circumstances are different and the job of an adviser is to tailor the policy to your specific needs. The way in which Drewberry advisers do that is to take the time to get to know you. When you contact us, we’ll do our best to find out who you are and what you need, and from there we will be able to make unique recommendations for your personal income insurance.
Some of the benefits of using a professional adviser when taking out an insurance policy include:
- Finding the right policy options – The adviser will find out about your income needs, core outgoings, expected retirement age, sick pay and savings in order to tailor the policy options to you.
- Finding the right insurer – Insurers have very different views on the cover and premium they are willing to offer depending on your occupation, business travel, health, smoker status and hobbies, so an adviser’s role is to find you the best terms across all insurers.
- Access more insurers – Not all providers allow their policies to be quoted online so if you don’t speak to an adviser you could be missing out on a policy with cheaper premiums or better cover for your circumstances.
- Saving you time – A specialist protection adviser will know all the policy terms inside out and can therefore talk you through all your options, saving you hours of research.
As independent insurance advisers, we have access to the entire UK market. We also don’t charge a fee for insurance advice.
You will receive all of our findings in an easy-to-understand email report and there is no need to make a decision until you are absolutely certain about the policy you’ve chosen. Speaking with an adviser, most of all, can be a great opportunity to ask questions and come to a better understanding of the different insurance products available to you and how they work.
Income Protection for Self Employed & Company Directors
While standard Income Protection policies will be suitable for most people, the self employed, business owners and workers in certain occupations may require specialised cover.
Salary, dividends and setting an appropriate level of cover
For the self employed and company directors who run their own business there is no safety net of an employer which makes income protection even more important. With directors often paying themselves a small salary and the rest in dividends it is important to speak to an expert adviser to make sure you can take out cover where your dividends can be protected.
For the self employed making sure the amount of cover aligns with what gets declared to the HMRC ensures that you do not over insure yourself and pay for cover which you are unable to claim on.
Doctors and NHS Sick Pay
For example, people who work for the NHS use a tiered sick pay system, where the length of time they have been employed determines how much sick pay they are entitled to. In addition, half of their sick pay entitlement consists of half payments, which may not be able to be sufficient to cover their necessary expenses.
To accommodate this, some insurers have put together specialised Income Protection for doctors. These policies allow doctors and surgeons to set their deferred period to match their full sick pay, yet the policy will pay out limited benefits when they begin receiving half sick pay to top up their income.
If you think that you may require a specialist advice pleas don’t hesitate to pop us a call on 02084327333 or email email@example.com
Get Expert Income Protection Advice
We are wholly independent insurance experts capable of comparing all the leading UK insurers. Our aim is simple: couple expert advice with a first class service and use our buying power to find you the most competitive rates.
To get personal advice about your Income Protection options from one of our advisers, contact us today on 📞 01273646484.
Alternatively, work through our online guides and compare instant online quotes from the UK’s leading income protection providers.
Director at Drewberry
Why work with Drewberry™
- We placed over £1 billion worth of risk with insurers for our clients in 2017
- We were nominated for Protection Intermediary of the Year at the Protection Review Awards 🏆 in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and the Cover Excellence Awards in 2016 and 2017
- Our ethos is to provide the best possible service demonstrated by the growing number of 🌟 5-star rated reviews with 98% of our clients saying they would recommend us
- Tom and the rest of our insurance experts are frequently quoted in leading papers such as The Independent and Financial Times with a reputation in the media as an authority in our industry.
If you need help please don’t hesitate to pop us a call or email us as per below.
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