Is your protection right for you?

Many of us Brits aren’t protected at all should the worst happen to us or if we find ourselves unable to work for a period of time, in fact a staggering 81% of us have no income protection in place, according to the latest State of the Protection Nation report from Royal London.

Should something happen to you or your children that meant you were unable to work and earn an income, not having relevant protection in place could put you and your family under a lot of financial strain.

For those that are lucky enough to have savings and think they will provide the necessary safety net, it is always worth considering how long these will actually last, particularly for the two-fifths of us that have savings of less than £100, according to the Money Advice Service.

According to Legal and General 15 million adults have life insurance which is more than both critical illness and income protection combined, despite there being a much higher chance of being diagnosed with a critical illness or facing long-term absence from work.

Your chances of getting a critical illness also increases with age. According to Macmillan Cancer Support there is an estimated 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK which highlights the risk of not having critical illness cover.

You might think the state would provide support but applying for benefits can be a complicated and lengthy process. After weeks or possibly months of no income, you might also be surprised at the amount you’d be expected to survive on.

For example, if you meet the criteria for Statutory Sick Pay from the state you can get a depressing £92.05 per week and the state provided Employment and Support Allowance in some cases can pay an even smaller amount. Both are significantly less than the UKs weekly average income which is why seeking specialist advice to ensure you are suitably protected is important.

You are also more likely to be off work with an injury or serious illness for a sustained amount of time than you are to die. According to Royal London, every year people in the UK suffer an injury or serious illness that means they can’t work for a month or more. Your employer might keep paying for you for a while but there may be a limit to how long that will last.

Planning for the inevitable is definitely crucial, but it’s also worth thinking about right now. Building a full protection solution that is tailored to your needs and your budget is incredibly important. Whether you need to prioritise critical illness cover and income protection over life insurance depends on your individual circumstances which is why expert advice is priceless.

If you think you need protection, or think you’re not currently suitably protected, contact one of our advisers today to talk through your options.

Payment Protection Insurance is optional. There are other providers of Payment Protection Insurance and other products designed to protect you against loss of income.

Over half of Buy-to-Let landlords want to keep or add to their investments

With the buy-to-let market showing signs of slowing down in the UK, new research by Octopus Choice has revealed that Britain’s landlords are in two minds about whether to continue investing into property or to sell up for a lump sum.

We Brits still have our continuous love affair with bricks and mortar and the data shows that 56% of buy-to-let investors want to keep or purchase more properties and continue investing. The remaining 44% intend on selling up and leaving the market.

Despite these stats, a substantial 22% of landlords are likely to sell their property within the next 12 months according to new research by The Mortgage Works – this is a 3% rise on the first quarter. And the rate of buy-to-let landlords planning to buy another property in the next 12 months has remained flat at 15%.

These figures suggest no one is entirely sure what the future may hold for buy-to-let as uncertainty continues to prevail, and landlords re-assess their investment options following a raft of recent changes.

If you are a buy-to-let landlord and want to discuss all of the options available to you, whatever your plans may be, contact one of our advisers today.

Getting the maximum from your income protection

Insurers pay out a whopping £13.9 million per day in income protection, critical illness cover and life assurance according to figures released by the Association of British Insurers and Group Risk Development.

But are you getting the income protection cover that’s most suited to your needs? Your income changes throughout your life and your source of income changes too – whether that’s through bonuses, commission, overtime or any other form of income.

The maximum benefit payable to you will depend primarily on your income, but not all types of income will be used by providers in their calculations. Understanding the maximum benefit providers will pay is important and that is not as straightforward as you might assume.

Some providers don’t base their maximum benefit on a fixed percentage of earnings. Instead they have a stepped system. For example, some lenders may cover up to 60% of the first £20,000 of earnings, 50% of the next £20,000 and 40% of the rest. This means that different providers will offer better levels of cover depending on the client’s amount of earnings.

With different providers considering different forms of income as well as the tiered system that some of them use it is important to find the best income protection for your needs. But as well as this, certain providers offer protection with other elements that can add value to make your cover more important – and this is where an adviser can help.

Payment Protection Insurance is optional. There are other providers of Payment Protection Insurance and other products designed to protect you against loss of income.

If you want to talk to your adviser to discuss your options and find out which provider will be more beneficial for you, please get in touch today!