One-third of new debts do not have life cover
A report by independent financial research company Defaqto has found that almost one-third of new debts do not have life cover associated with them.
In 2009, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) recorded 636,973 new mortgage-related life assurance policies written, but the Council of Mortgage Lenders recorded 925,000 new mortgage advances.
Ben Heffer, author of the report and Defaqto's Insight Analyst for Protection, said: "In some cases, there may be prevailing individual circumstances that dispense with the need for life cover. However, the figures suggest that there are many people taking on debt whose loved ones would have no means of paying it off for them if the worst happened. The protection gap does not just apply to life cover but is also a real problem when you look at income replacement products, with so little income protection being sold."
On the back of rising unemployment, this is a key time for consumers to consider making their own provisions against sickness, critical illness, medical expenses and loss of income. Chastened by the experience of carrying too much unserviceable debt, consumers are reducing their household expenditure, and as a result of lower inflation and having less personal debt to service, those in employment now have more disposable income, thus presenting the industry with a key opportunity to sell more protection products.