How to protect yourself! – Part 1 of 3 – Facts, figures, employee and state benefits
Most people are happy to insure their cars, their homes and the content of their homes.
Often, the family pet is insured! Is the same value placed on owners?
As a nation of animal lovers have we afforded our pets with more consideration?
Isn’t about time we protect ourselves? With Insurance.
As a Holistic Independent Financial Planner, my role is to identify and recommend solutions to address client’s needs across a range of financial planning areas. One of the most important need areas is protection. In a world of uncertainty this becomes even more important.
If an individual is out of work for a long period of time, essential items still need to be paid for, such as:
- Mortgage/ rent
- Utility bills
Statistics suggest some worrying facts!
Up to age 65, there is a 1 in 5 chance for men and a 1 in 6 chance for women that a long term illness will prevent them from working. (www.teachersassurance.co.uk)
Statistics from the Chest Heart Stroke Association (1998) reveal that every two minutes a heart attack strikes someone somewhere in the UK. Yet despite these statistics, a surprising 93% of the working population don’t have any form of serious illness protection. (www.criticalillness.co.uk).
1 in 3 men aged 30 will have a stroke, cancer or heart attack before the age of 65, and the same fate will happen to 1 in 5 women of the same age.
Some worrying statistics but unfortunately, they are a fact of life!
The following will detail the help that is available under these circumstances and the types of protection products available. In addition, information will be provided which will help make an informed choice between products for needs during working life and post-retirement.
Over the course of a three part blog, the following will be considered:
- Help available from the State
- Employers benefits
- How insurance companies can help
- Details of products that are available
What does the state provide?
The country at the moment is in a time of change, a relatively new coalition government with part of their agenda to cut the deficit, plans to cut spending and uncertainty in employment.
Announcements of benefits being cut are now featuring part of the daily news. An individual may be entitled to state benefits but state benefits are designed to enable you to survive, not to provide a great standard of living, which a you may be used to.
Adviceguide (www.adviceguide.org.uk), the online help from the citizen’s advice bureau, provide information on the main two benefits that may be available for people who are unable to work due to sickness or disability, they are:
- Statutory Sick Pay, and
- Employment and Support Allowance
State benefits can be a complicated area and entitlement to them can be confusing; a good starting point for advice would be the adviceguide website. The points to consider are whether or not entitlement to these benefits would be available; with the cuts in benefits planned, will they be available in the current form; and also the complications and stress of claiming them.
What about employee benefits?
Individuals would need to check with their employers as to the benefit package available to them. Most employee benefits are reliant on time in service with the employer and most would cease after a period of time i.e. 12 months 100% of salary sick pay or 100% sick pay for 6 months reducing to 50% for the next 6 months. Many employers do not offer any benefits. After a time, most income paid from employers would cease.
How would the mortgage and bills be paid? Based on the worrying statistics previously mentioned there is a strong possibility that a sickness period could be a lot longer than benefits would be paid.
Remember this is part 1 of 3.
Until the next time Paul Hoskin IFA