It’s worth noting that many income protection policies also have other free services included to support your recovery and help you return to work (such as physiotherapy and counselling).
When does income protection insurance pay out?
For income protection insurance claims, the main thing considered is whether a medical condition prevents you from being able to do your job. If it does, then the policy should pay out, no matter what that condition may be (subject to any exclusions placed on the policy). For example, if you’re a surgeon and you broke a finger, which meant that you could no longer work, the insurance would likely pay out. Your policy would also pay out if you were unable to perform your professional duties as a result of mental illness or a stress-related condition.
Income protection policies generally won’t pay out if you are unable to work for non-medical reasons, such as redundancy or if you have become unemployed for any other reason. There are other insurance policies that may provide this type of cover, such as accident, sickness and unemployment cover.
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Do I need income protection insurance?
Experts recommend that people should have enough saved up to cover three-months worth of living expenses, but the scary truth is that 20% of Brits don’t have enough saved up to live for even one month without an income(2).
But even if you have managed to build up a decent pot of savings, would you actually want to use them? We all have financial hopes and dreams, so you will likely have other plans for your hard-earned savings. Perhaps you are saving for the deposit on a house, to buy a car that you’ve been dreaming about, or to take your family on holiday.
Having an income protection policy may mean that you never need to dip into your savings pot, and also that you can continue to squirrel away the same amount of money each month, keeping you on track to hit your financial goals.
If you and your family rely on your income to cover regular living costs you should consider purchasing an income protection policy to ensure that your lifestyle would remain unaffected if you were ever unable to work due to ill health.
How much income protection insurance do I need?
The answer to this question really depends on your personal situation and preferences. That said, here are a few things to think about when deciding how much cover to take out:
What are your regular monthly expenses? Include your rent or mortgage payments.
How much income would you need to live comfortably each month?
How much employer support would you receive if you fell ill?
If you’re happy to use your savings if you become unable to work, how long would they last?
How long would you need the insurer to pay your monthly benefit for? This could be until retirement or just for a couple of years.
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What is a deferred period?
Income protection policies normally come with a deferred period, which is the period of time that must elapse between the point when you fall ill and the point when you start receiving monthly payments from your insurer.
This can be anywhere from seven days to 12 months. Often people set their deferred period to reflect how long their employer sick pay lasts. For example, if you know that your employer will pay sick pay for three months, you might consider an income protection policy with a deferred period of three months. That way you know your insurance payments will start after the end of your sick pay.
As a side note, it’s common for people to overestimate the amount of sick pay they are entitled to, so be sure to double-check the employee benefits that you’re entitled to - don’t assume anything!
If you’re self-employed, you will almost certainly not receive any sick pay. You should, therefore, consider policies with shorter deferred periods, to reduce the gap between your income ending and your income protection policy kicking in.
How much does income protection insurance cost?
The price for income protection insurance is dependent on a number of factors. In general, a policy will be more expensive the older you are, the more cover you take out and the riskier your occupation.
There are short term or ‘budget’ policies, where the monthly insurance benefit is only paid out for a fixed period of time, say 12 or 24 months. These policies are popular among younger people, as they are significantly cheaper, but still offer valuable benefit and peace of mind.
You may find that the cost of an income protection policy is less than you think. In fact, UK income protection insurance can cost as little as £10 a month!
So, for the price of a Spotify subscription, income protection insurance could guarantee your ability to continue paying for your actual Spotify subscription, as well as your Netflix, Amazon Prime, phone bill, BT Sport, internet and whatever other subscriptions you pay for on a monthly basis!? If you ask us, it’s a bit of a no brainer!
How can I buy income protection insurance?
At Cavendish Online, we can help you work out exactly how much income protection insurance you need, and which insurer is best suited to you.
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