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Employee Benefits News

Latest News
03 Jul 2017

Fewer than one in five workers have critical illness or income protection cover

Only 18% of UK employees have some form of critical illness or income protection cover that would provide financial help if they were to develop a serious illness, according to new research.

Canada Life Group Insurance found that almost three-quarters (72%) of workers would struggle to cope if their income fell by £570 — the average amount lost by four in five families after a cancer diagnosis according to cancer charity Macmillan.

The figure was even higher for single-parent workers, with 80% saying they would struggle to cope and 63% admitting it would be ‘very difficult´ to cope with such a loss.

The average worker has less than £3,300 in savings to fall back on if they became ill — but the typical UK worker spends £1,000 a month, so if they were diagnosed with cancer and completely unable to work their safety net would last for just three months. Cancer treatment alone is likely to take three to six months, and then there is recovery time to consider.

What´s more, nearly one in five employees have no savings at all, and 10% have less than £1,000 to fall back on.

Cancer now affects half of people during their lifetime, and many of these people will be vulnerable to financial struggles unless adequate support is in place.

Paul Avis, Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance, commented:

“A head in the sand approach to the financial impact of cancer is putting families´ futures at risk. Cancer accounts for nearly seven in ten critical illness claims and incidence rates have risen across all age groups, affecting those of working age as well as older people. As cancer survival rates also rise, more will undergo extended periods of treatment, likely resulting in a leave of absence from work and a reduction of income. It´s clear from our research that most families would struggle to cope with this financially, but few have protection in place to provide the support they would need.

“With the ability to meet essential areas of expenditure such as housing, utility and food costs at risk, employers should consider the workplace benefits they can offer to prevent valued members of staff having to experience such hardship. Group income protection and critical illness policies provide vital financial support through difficult periods of illness and are relatively inexpensive to provide, and only 7% of respondents had cover such as this in place. They also come with a host of support services such as counselling and rehabilitation, helping enable a return to work if possible: a positive result for both employer and employee.”

Copyright © M2 Bespoke 2017

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