Drewberry™ provide pensions, investment and insurance advice for Money to the Masses readers throughout the UK.

Income Protection vs Payment Protection Insurance

Obtaining adequate protection insurance is an important part of preserving your lifestyle and preparing against misfortune. The right or the wrong kind of insurance cover can make a significant difference in a time of need.

Traditional Income Protection and Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) are often confused – they may sound similar, but there are a lot of noteworthy differences between the two.

PPI is used to cover your outgoings, typically expenditure on a loan. Income Protection, on the other hand, is designed to protect your wider income. This can include expenditure on loans but also wider costs, such as a mortgage, rent, bills and lifestyle costs.

Compare Top 10 UK
Takes approx. 60 seconds
Type of Policy
Income Required
Date of Birth

What’s the Difference Between Income Protection and Payment Protection?

There are multiple differences between Income Protection and Payment Protection, notably surrounding:

  • The length of cover
  • How comprehensive the cover is
  • How much you can insure yourself for
  • Coverage of medical conditions and exclusions
  • Type of premiums
  • Cost of cover
  • Transparency with claims data.
Need Help? Start Live Chat with our Experts  

Pensions Advice

Income Protection

What is Income Protection?

  • Protect up to 70% of your income if you can’t work due to accident or sickness (and potentially redundancy depending on your policy)
  • Long Term Protection
    Can pay out a claim right up until you retire if you are too ill or injured to return to work.
  • Own Occupation Cover
    Pays a claim if you are unable to do your current job due to illness or injury.
  • Optional Guaranteed Premiums
    Fix the cost of the cover for the entire length of the policy.
  • Full Medical Underwriting
    Completion of full health questionnaire at application stage so you know exactly what you are covered for from the outset.

What is Payment Protection?

  • Payment Protection cover tends to be aligned with an outstanding loan or mortgage, so the amount you can insure yourself for is linked to the size of your monthly loan repayments
  • Short Term Protection
    Pays a claim for a maximum of 12 or 24 months regardless of whether or not you are able to return to work.
  • Suited Occupation Cover
    Pays a claim if you are unable to do your current job or any other role you may be able to undertake given your skills and experience.
  • Reviewable Premiums
    The cost of the cover is reviewed annually tending to rise year on year.
  • Moratorium Underwriting
    You agree that any conditions suffered in the previous two years will not be covered, should you suffer an illness or injury your medical history is then considered when making a claim.

They were patient thorrgh and good value for money. I regret not using them before and I will use them again in the future.

Edward Brampton
Is PPI or Income Protection the best insurance for me?

Do I Need Payment Protection or Accident & Sickness Insurance?

How long will the policy cover me for?

Income Protection Insurance
Although short-term cover is available, Income Protection allows you to choose long-term protection, which means the policy will pay out right up until the policy cease age (usually your retirement age).

Payment Protection Insurance
Payment Protection Insurance will only ever offer short-term, temporary cover for your mortgage payments for a maximum of 12 months, although some that pay out for 24 months are available.

Will I be covered if I can’t do my job?

Income Protection Insurance
Own Occupation insurance is the most comprehensive cover, protecting you in the event of you being unable to do your specific job. Inferior definitions of incapacity, such as suited occupation, may only pay out if you can’t do another job suited to your experience and education.

Payment Protection Insurance
PPI plans usually only provide suited occupation cover, so the insurer is entitled to ask you to do another job given your skillset before permitting a claim. Some PPI policies even offer any occupation cover, where the insurer is entitled to check your ability to do any job before allowing a claim.

How much can I insure myself for?

Income Protection Insurance
Usually between 50% and 65% of your gross monthly earnings as an individual, or up to 80% with Income Protection for Directors.

Payment Protection Insurance
The amount of cover is linked to the monthly payments you make on a loan/mortgage, so usually much less than Income Protection.

What medical conditions are covered?

Income Protection Insurance
Full medical underwriting means your whole medical history is considered from the start, so you know what’s covered from the outset. Policies may even cover time off work due to certain medical conditions after a period without symptoms.

Payment Protection Insurance
Usually has a long list of standard medical exclusions. There’s no upfront underwriting, so you may not be fully aware of what exactly you’re covered for. It’s unlikely any condition you’ve suffered in the past will ever be covered.

Which type of premiums are used?

Income Protection Insurance
Many people have the option to choose guaranteed premiums, which means your premiums will remain fixed for the life of your policy, regardless of you getting older or making any claims.

Payment Protection Insurance
Often has reviewable premiums, which means the price of cover can go up year-on-year. Premiums may be increased due to issues such as economic turbulence or a spike in claims.

How much does insurance cost?

Income Protection Insurance
Cost will vary depending on a number of metrics (more on this can be found here), such as your age, medical history, the amount of cover you require and the type of premium you choose.

Payment Protection Insurance
In the absence of medical underwriting or much of an ability to adjust the level of cover, the main factor affecting the cost of PPI is what you’re insured for, which is linked to your loan.

Will the insurer pay my claim?

Income Protection Insurance
Insurers regularly publish their claims data for Income Protection –  you can check out the claims statistics from the last three years here. These show the top five insurers by claims payout rate paid out over 94% of all Income Protection claims.

Payment Protection Insurance
Providers rarely publish claims data, making it hard to tell which PPI provider is best at paying claims. Note that as PPI often uses a lesser definition of incapacity, it’s sometimes harder to claim on PPI policies than on own occupation Income Protection.

Compare Top 10 UK Insurers
  Takes approx. 60 seconds
Need help? 
Call us on 

What’s the Best Insurance: Income Protection or Payment Protection?

It’s impossible to tell whether you need Payment Protection Insurance or Income Protection without examining your circumstances. For that you’d need to pick up the phone and have a chat – feel free to pop us a call any time.

However, broadly speaking, if affordability is not an issue then every working adult should consider traditional long-term income protection which would pay a claim should they be unable to do their own occupation due to any illness or injury.

Samantha Haffenden-Angear
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Comparing the cost of income protection and the cost of payment protection insurance

The Cost of Income Protection vs the Payment Protection

Income Protection is a broader, more comprehensive cover than PPI in many cases. Income Protection covers you for longer and for a larger amounts, as well as taking your medical history into account.

is Income Protection better than payment protection insurance?

With Income Protection, there’s also the option for guaranteed premiums, where you lock in the cost of cover over the life of the policy from the start.

Payment Protection Insurance offers shorter-term cover where the maximum payout will often be limited to either 12 or 24 months depending on the terms of your policy.

No medical history will be taken with PPI when you set-up your cover which means a pre-existing medical condition that stops you being able to make your loan repayments may be excluded without you being clear on this until you come to make a claim. Most Payment Protection policies exclude any illness which you have suffered in the 2 years prior to taking out cover.

The major thing to consider with PPI is that premiums are often reviewable, which means they can jump throughout the policy with no preset formula.

When you consider the greater depth and breadth of what Income Protection offers, it’s perhaps not surprising that it can work out slightly more expensive than PPI.

However, factoring in that the cover can be significantly more comprehensive and you can lock in the cost with guaranteed premiums it’s worth spending a little extra to ensure your income is suitably protected.

Sam Barr-Worsfold
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry


Can You Get Unemployment Insurance with Income Protection or PPI?

Many people looking for unemployment cover find that it can be included in a PPI policy and feel it’s just easier to take out one policy covering all three risks. However, with some Income Protection policies it is possible to add redundancy cover as a bolt on to the accident and sickness cover.

We often couple 12 months of unemployment cover with a traditional long term income protection policy so our clients have the best of both worlds. Our advisers can discuss your needs with you and find you the right type of cover for your circumstances to make sure you’ve got the right insurance in place.

Self-employed? Income Protection for the self-employed is no issue when looking to cover accident and sickness, but always be careful if deciding to add unemployment cover to your policy. That’s because when you work for yourself you’re technically you’re own boss.

As such, it’s very hard to prove that your out of work through no fault of your own and had no knowledge about the chain of events leading to the claim.

Jeremy Cornford
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

expert advice to choose between income protection and payment protection insurance

Get Expert Income Protection Advice

While Income Protection provides more comprehensive cover, there’s no guarantee that it’s right for everyone. If you’re not looking to protect your income and are only worried about loan repayments, then a full Income Protection plan may not make sense.
is income protection best for me?
Also, as it provides a higher degree of cover, Income Protection may not work for the budget-conscious. It can be more expensive for older and manual workers, for instance. As PPI only pays out for a maximum of 24 months, and only enough to cover a loan repayment, the premiums are usually much lower.

As much as we would like to see every working adult have their income protected right up to retirement some cover is still better than no cover at all.


Get Expert Insurance Advice Today

Drewberry's expert financial advisers in Brighton can offer you protection insurance advice

If you’re deciding whether to take out Payment Protection Insurance or Income Protection then please feel free to call us on 01273646484. Our advisers are on hand to talk you through your options and make sure you find the best policy for your circumstances that covers all of your requirements.

Tom Conner
Director at Drewberry

Compare Top 10 UK
Takes approx. 60 seconds
Type of Policy
Income Required
Date of Birth

Frequently Asked Income Protection Insurance Questions

related to an answer for: Do I need income protection or accident, sickness and...
I want some kind of health cover in case I am ill. I’ve come across health insurance, income protection...
Having just taken out a mortgage I am looking at my insurances and wanted to take out life cover and...
I’ve already got Income Protection and but i think i’m paying too much for it. Is there any...
4.92 / 5 Average
1398 Reviews
Overall Rating
Very supportive and helped to choose effective product.
S Cutter
Overall Rating
Very professional and easy to deal with. Jake treated me like a human being and made me feel like a valued customer.
Overall Rating
Applied for an income protection plan and owing to medical condition had to make a few changes and Victoria from drewberry was really helpful
P Monaghan
Overall Rating
Courteous, prompt and clear service
D Lewis
Overall Rating
I was having trouble finding a suitable income protection policy online and was unclear about what I should be looking for, so I contacted Drewberry. The process was very quick and straightforward. They called me and explained how this type of insurance works, and then went through series of questions about my circumstances to try and find the right cover for me. They came back to me the next day with several suitable options and emailed all the relevant information clearly laid out. Michael Barrow, the advisor I spoke to, was happy to explain things in detail and answer any questions I had. I would definitely recommend Drewberry as they took all the hassle out of a confusing search.