Do I need Income Protection?
Although you may be entitled to state benefits we are all aware that the process can be slow and arduous before your claim is not only accepted but processed as well. Do you have sufficient savings to manage your lifestyle whilst waiting for your claim to be processed and once the claim is in payment will it be sufficient to meet your needs?
What are the state benefits?
If you cannot work because you are sick or disabled, whether temporarily or permanently, you may be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Usually, SSP is paid for the first 28 weeks of sickness if you work for an employer. Otherwise, you should claim ESA. In some cases, you can get Income Support on top of SSP, depending on your circumstances and income.
SSP and ESA are intended to provide an income in place of your earnings when you cannot work. If you are able to do some work, you will not usually be able to claim these benefits. However, you may be able to do some work if your earnings are not more than a set limit.
Your employer pays Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first 28 weeks that you are off sick. It is treated as earnings for the purposes of income tax and forms part of your taxable income. Statutory Sick Pay is paid at a fixed rate of £88.45 a week!
To get Statutory Sick Pay, you must be unable to work because you are sick or disabled. You must earn at least £112 a week. If you don’t earn this amount, or if you’re self-employed, you cannot get SSP. You should claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
How does Income protection Work?
Income protection will not protect against redundancy, for that, you need unemployment cover and if this is a concern then please look at our other web pages covering this area. If you are unable to work through sickness or accident then a payment will be made to you dependent upon what is known as the deferred period and whether it is a long-term protection plan or a low-cost short-term plan.
Long term insurance policy:
This plan is dependent upon your occupation and health and is the most expensive in terms of monthly cost. Assuming this is the correct plan for you it can run up to your retirement age. The premium is then dependent upon the length of time between putting in a claim and payment, for instance, if you feel you can support yourself for eight weeks before putting in a claim then an eight-week deferred period may be right for you and will keep the monthly cost down.
Short-term income protection:
This version of the plan is cheaper than the one above. It can also cover you up until your retirement age but it will only pay out for a period of 2 years (24 months) for an illness or accident after which the plan will cease. It is worth noting that the time period in respect to one illness. If you were to be unfortunate enough to contract a second illness then the time clock reverts to 24 months again for the second illness.
Initial waiting periods: The monthly benefits are paid to you after a set period of time 4, 13, 26 or 52 weeks after which the benefit payments are made a month after this date.
Additional Benefits included in some plans
Of course circumstances can change and sometimes unplanned things can happen and we all need some additional help. With that in mind these are some of the benefits that are built into an income protection plan free of charge
Family carer benefit- Up to £1500 a month is payable to the plan holder to support you if you become the carer to your spouse, civil partner or child.
What Are The Costs?
The costs are relative to age, occupation and policy type. An income protection is tailored around your individual circumstances and needs there is a limit to the amount of cover you can put in place dependent upon your earnings. Why not get a quick quote here and we can give you a call to discuss your options further?
What is an ASU policy likely to cover?
ASU is designed to provide you with financial protection in the event you are unable to continue working because:
• You have lost your job through no fault of your own;
• You become ill and are too sick to work;
• You are injured and unable to work.
You will typically receive a proportion of your income for up to 12 months which can then be used to help cover your monthly outgoings.
What is unlikely to be covered by ASU insurance?
As with any form of insurance, when you buy an ASU policy it’s important to find out whether any exclusions apply to your cover.
First and foremost, if you have any reason to suspect that you might be about to lose your job it is vital to be aware that any ASU policy you buy may be invalid.
Insurance companies are careful to investigate customers’ circumstances before authorising pay-outs, and if it seems that you have deliberately tried to insure yourself in anticipation of redundancy you will probably find it impossible to claim.
Most ASU policies come with a waiting period designed to prevent fraudulent claims. This might mean that if you are unable to work within a few months of taking out an ASU policy you won’t be eligible for a pay-out, even if you were 100% honest with your insurer when setting up your cover.
If you are able to make an ASU claim, it’s likely you will have to wait at least a month before receiving a pay-out. The waiting period that comes with your policy is something else to look out for when researching the products on offer from different ASU providers.
ASU policies also tend to be time limited – so you might find that any payouts you are entitled to under your policy will cease after 12 months.
Meanwhile, if you are aged over 65, are self-employed or have been in your job less than six months, you may also find that it’s harder to buy ASU cover.
Finally, don’t forget to find out which medical conditions are limited or excluded under any ASU policy you might take out.
It isn’t unusual for back problems and conditions such as stress to be excluded, and these are among the most common causes of absence from the workplace. Pre-existing medical conditions will also be excluded from your cover, and you’ll be required to declare these when taking out your ASU policy.
How can I cut the cost of an ASU insurance policy?
The best way to make sure you get good value for money when buying ASU is to compare a range of insurance policies from different providers. You’ll be able to look at how much each policy costs, as well as what it covers, before making a decision.
This kind of policy is particularly useful if you are concerned about whether or not you could cope financially in the event that you lost your job through redundancy or ill health.
You can take out an accident sickness and unemployment policy that is specific to a debt so that repayments will continue to be made in the event that you lose your income through an accident, sickness or after becoming unemployed.
Bear in mind that most ASU insurance policies are time limited, so they will only pay out for a set period. This can range from a few months to a couple of years, although if you decide instead to opt for a broader income protection policy, this will continue to pay you a monthly amount until you either recover or until the end of the policy term’. Policies also carry certain restrictions. For example, you may not be covered if you are already at risk of unemployment when you take out a policy.
Accident, sickness and unemployment insurance (ASU) pays out if you lose your job or become unable to work through illness, injury or redundancy.
It’s often referred to as short-term income protection insurance or payment protection insurance because pay-outs are restricted so that you can only claim for a maximum period of between 12 and 24 months.
Cover levels are based on your mortgage and monthly outgoings, and while you get to choose the amount, pay-outs will usually be limited to 60-65% of your income.
You’ll pay a monthly premium for the cover, which rolls over month by month until you cancel the policy or make a claim. This makes ASU insurance relatively informal and easy to take out.
Accident, Sickness & Unemployment insurance (ASU) Explained
Accident, Sickness & Unemployment insurance (ASU), can also be referred to as mortgage payment protection and will provide you with an income to meet your outgoings if you are off work sick, have an accident or are made redundant. It pays out a monthly benefit to cover your mortgage and other related costs.
You may choose the amount of benefit you would like to receive, although there are some limits on the maximum amount. The premium will be a percentage of the amount of monthly benefit you would like to receive.
Some policies will also allow you to choose whether you want to receive benefits for accident & sickness only, unemployment only or all three. Most policies will also have a ‘deferment period’ This is the time you have to wait to start receiving benefits from the ASU policy after you have become ill, had an accident or become unemployed. Again, this can vary from having no exclusion period to 30, 60 or 90 days. In some instances, this can be even longer.
Alternatively, some ASU policies have a waiting period after which time the claim is paid in full. With a 30 day waiting period, on the 31st day of unemployment or disability, the claim is back dated to day 1 & paid in full.
The main instances when you will not be covered are deliberate self-injury, riding on a motorcycle, dangerous sports or occupations, working as a professional sports person, or any injury or condition related to normal pregnancy, stress, backache or which you had prior to your application for cover, AIDS-related conditions, conditions due to drug and alcohol abuse or your criminal activity. If you have also selected unemployment cover, you will not be covered if you knew or had reason to believe you might become unemployed, if your work is seasonal or temporary or you accept voluntary unemployment. If you are on a contract you can still qualify for unemployment cover if you satisfy certain conditions which are contained in the full policy details. A full list of exclusions will be provided with your policy. You will not be covered for any sickness which occurs during the first 60 days of your policy. You will not be covered for any unemployment which occurs during the first 180 days of your policy.
Who is eligible for cover?
Anyone can apply for an accident sickness & unemployment policy so long as you are over 18 and under 60 and you normally reside in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You must also be in employment or self-employment for at least 16 hours per week and have been so for the last 6 months.
You can start claiming your income protection typically after just 60 days of being off work through illness or an accident as certified by your doctor. You can select to cover typically any amount up to £1,500. You can claim your daily income protection from just 60 days after you cannot work through sickness or an accident (or unemployment, if chosen) and continue to claim for up to a full year. As with other forms of personal protection insurances (e.g. life insurance, health insurance) premiums will gradually rise as you get older.
Should I have hospital cover?
Living the life you love means freedom from worrying about what might happen if you’re injured in an accident or need to spend time in a hospital. Medical Cover provides extra financial support for you 24/7 worldwide, covering a range of injuries from broken bones to those that could have a significant impact on your life. You’ll also be covered if you have to spend time in a hospital and, with our extended cover options, you can protect your children as well.
Medical Cover provides you with a range of cover from £7 to £35 per month, depending on your needs, giving you the confidence to live the life you love.
General points to note
Medical Cover is available to people aged 18 years old up to their 60th birthday. Cover ends on your 70th birthday or sooner if:
– you’re no longer a UK resident
– a payment of accidental total permanent disablement benefit is made in respect of you
– you die
– you change your occupation to one which we do not provide cover for (you must notify us of any change to your occupation)
• Children covered under Child Cover must be aged between six months and 18 years (23 years if unmarried and in full-time education)
• A child must be a UK resident to be eligible for cover but does not have to live at home
• UK Healthcare Worker Cover is for clinical healthcare workers only
Flexible cover when you need it
Medical Cover provides financial support for a range of specified accidental injuries and UK hospital stays. You can claim for multiple injuries and your policy will continue to protect you in the future.
Getting you back on your feet
You will receive UK hospital cover for every 24 hours you spend as an in-patient as the result of an accident. Once you’ve had your policy for 12 months, you can also claim for time spent in hospital due to sickness.
Peace of mind
Accidental death and funeral cover, to provide peace of mind if the worst happens.
Cover starts from as little as £7 to £35 per month, depending on the level of protection you choose. Plus, the cost of your cover won’t change when you make a claim or as you get older.
We can provide you with cover, whatever your circumstances, and we won’t ask you any health questions, no matter your age or health condition. You can take out this policy from 18 years old up to your 60th birthday and can continue to cover up until your 70th.
What’s not covered
• We don’t cover psychiatric illness, depression, mental or stress-related conditions
• We don’t cover certain sports e.g. mountaineering and rock climbing, or contests of speed e.g. horse racing or motocross competitions
• We don’t cover professional sports people
• A broken bone means a break to a bone, caused by accidental means, which can be evidenced by x-ray or other suitable clinical diagnosis. The nose is specifically excluded
• Total permanent disablement (TPD) covers only accidental injuries
• Hospitalisation claims will be considered only if the hospital is in the UK and the stay is more than 24 hours, up to a maximum of 90 days per condition
• We do not cover hospital stays due to optional surgery e.g. cosmetic surgery isn’t covered
• We do not cover hospital stays due to pregnancy-related issues, as this is not considered a sickness.
We believe that having the confidence to live your life to the full is essential. We can’t predict the future but we can help you ensure you have a financial safety net if things don’t go to plan.
We offer a unique approach to protection. With years of experience of helping people like you, we can help to close the gap in protection that many don’t even realise they have.