Critical illness

A lack of protection against serious illness is most prevalent among the self-employed.

In case of emergency | 15th July 2015

When fit and healthy, many do not pause to think about lost income or the extra costs that inevitably result from a devastating illness or event, putting no critical illness cover in place.

Unfortunately, there is a growing number of people who fall into this trap, and this protection gap is particularly prevalent among those who run their own business. The economic upheaval over the last six or seven years has seen the number of self-employed individuals increase dramatically. Yet many who left behind employee protection insurance policies haven’t replaced them with personal policies. This growing need for personal cover has been exacerbated by the reduction in sickness benefits from the state.

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Charity boost

As part of charity-led campaigns, such as 7 Families, some families may be lucky enough to receive support and advice to help improve quality of life and aid rehabilitation at home.

This campaign, which is funded by a number of leading protection companies, provides a tax-free income for one year to seven people who have lost their income because of a serious or long-term illness or disability. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the financial damage that long-term illness or disability can do and highlights how the right cover can make a huge difference to families hit by an accident or a medical issue.

Expect the unexpected

Tony Müdd, divisional director at St. James’s Place, says stories of those who suffer loss of income due to debilitating illness or injury demonstrate the value of protection to anyone who thinks ‘it won’t happen to me.’

He said, “People never expect this sort of thing to happen, but statistics show you’re four times more likely to be off work with a serious illness than die before you retire.

“Small business owners without the correct cover should ask themselves what would happen if they suffered an illness or disability and found they could no longer run their business.”

Understanding the need for protection, whether this is income protection, critical illness cover, or something else, and examining your options with the help of a financial adviser is the first step to preparing for the sort of events that can happen, but we hope never will.

For more information, visit St. James’s Place Wealth Management.

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