How long should I set my income insurance deferred period?

What is a typical deferred period for income protection insurance? Is there anything I should consider when setting the length of time?

Question asked by Judith Bottrill
Compare Top 10 UK
Takes approx. 60 seconds
Type of Policy
Income Required
Date of Birth
Loading your options...
Thank you for using our Quote Tool
If you need some help, just call us!
T: 0208 432 7333
Our in-house Experts are here to provide FREE impartial advice!
Our Experts can answer all your questions
Our Experts can send you more appropriate options based on your personal circumstances

Very important if you are either Self-Employed or a Company Director.

Our online quote tool is good but our Experts are better

Oue Experts have access to far more insurers and can often find a better deal offline.

Saves you time, let our Experts do what they are best at

Answered by Andrew Jenkinson

The deferred period for Income Protection explained

Firstly, the deferred period (sometimes known as an excess period, waiting or deferment period) is the period of time for which you need to be off work for the policy to start ‘accumulating benefit’.

For example, with a 4 week deferred period the plan would start accumulating benefit after 4 weeks and make its first payment after 8 weeks (for the 4 week period preceding).

It is very important to set an appropriate excess period as the monthly premiums can come down significantly as this period is extended. Furthermore, if you are still receiving an income from your employer most plans will not payout during this period, even if you have surpassed the deferment period.

Deferment Period for Accident and Sickness Cover

The typical deferred period for accident and sickness cover (whether for income protection or payment protection) will depend on whether you receive any period of full sick pay from your employer and your current level of savings.

If you employer were to pay, say, two months of full sick pay it usually makes sense to set the waiting period equal to this length of time. Upon making a claim the insurer will assess your income at that time and will not usually start paying out until you are no longer receiving full pay from your employer.

Additionally, if you have a level of savings that could be used to support yourself for a period of time should you have to cease working due to illness or injury then it may make sense to extend the deferred period in order to bring the monthly premiums down. With income protection it is typical for the premiums to come down by over 30 per cent if the excess period is extended from 4 to 13 weeks.

Deferment Period for Unemployment Cover

When it comes to setting the waiting period for unemployment protection it is important to consider how much redundancy pay you would receive and the level of savings you have.

If you would have enough capital to survive for a period of time due to redundancy pay (usually paid as a lump-sum upon being made redundant) or savings then it may make sense to extend the deferred period in order to bring the monthly premiums down.

For more information please see the guide: Setting your deferred period.

income protection deferred period
excess period
This information does not constitute financial or other professional advice. You should consult your professional adviser or contact us directly on 02084327333 should you require financial advice. It is important to ensure any insurance policy you take out is suitable for your needs.
Compare Top 10 UK Insurers
  Takes approx. 60 seconds
Need help? 
Call us on 

Frequently Asked Income Protection Insurance Questions

I’m looking to take out income protection insurance and currently researching all the aspects of...
I have recently taken out a mortgage and want to put some insurance in place to cover the loan in case...
What does this deferred period actually mean and will my claim be backdated if there is a deferment period?...
What is a common age for an income protection policy to finish? Are there any important factors to consider...
Need Help? Live chat now and get an instant answer from our Experts...


Our Latest Reviews
Andrew Giles

From start to finish a very professional and courteous outfit. A very efficient company with a no nonsense approach. Would recommend.

Mark Burbidge

First class service from start to finish. Sam Carr was very helpful in setting up my new insurance policies. He kept me up to date throughout the process and provided full explanation and advice on the products and was always available to help.

Doug Muirhead

Excellent personal service from Matthew Giles, made sure we received a tailor made quote that ideally suited our requirements as a family.

We are rated 4.9/5 based on 1512 independent client reviews.
To read more of our independent client reviews click here →
4.92 / 5 Average
1548 Reviews
R Steer
Overall Rating
Josh, Nick & Sam helped me set up PHI & Life insurance when I set up my own company. The application process wasn't straight forward due to my medical history, but the team made everything as simple as possible.
C Ash
Overall Rating
I have not started my health cover yet, bus so far the introduction has been very efficient and speedy.
G White
Overall Rating
Clear and concise information
D Muirhead
Overall Rating
Excellent personal service from Matthew Giles, made sure we received a tailor made quote that ideally suited our requirements as a family
S Walker
Overall Rating
Great service, independent advice, not pushy and very consultative. I would have no hesitation in recommending.