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Apathy and high prices leave 55 per cent of Brits without life cover

15th August 2012 Print

Despite rising levels of financial commitment, British adults are rejecting the peace of mind offered by life insurance, a new study has found.

A YouGov poll of more than 2,000 people, conducted on behalf of discovered that 55 per cent of adults do not have life cover, despite the protection it offers for family members who could struggle financially or even lose their home in the event of a death.

Cost was the primary barrier to purchasing cover, with 39 per cent of those without life insurance saying ‘It's too expensive'. Worryingly, almost one in five people, at 19 per cent, said that they have ‘never thought about it'. The research also highlighted that certain groups of people are more likely to lack cover - even though they may in fact have a greater need. For example, 61 per cent of divorced/separated adults had no life insurance, and those living with a partner were more likely not to have a policy (55% said they had no cover) than those who were married (45%).

The research also revealed high levels of uncertainty around the option of placing life insurance in trust, so that inheritance tax does not apply to the pay out. Only 10 per cent of respondents with life insurance said that their policy was held in trust. 48 per cent said that their cover was not, and a further 43 per cent either did not know if this was the case, or were unclear as to what ‘held in trust' means.

Of those who did have life cover, top reasons for buying it were as follows:

To cover the mortgage if I pass away (54%)
For peace of mind for my partner (44%)
To ensure my children's financial security/future (31%)
To cover debts/loans if I pass away (22%)
Only 58% said they had reviewed their life insurance in the last five years.

The research was conducted on behalf of Beagle Street, a new life insurance brand that sets new standards for the purchase of life cover in the UK. Offering instant cover online, without the need for medicals, dramatically reduces the time needed to take out a policy by using innovative technology and simple, jargon-free language. This level of simplicity means that the customer saves on their premium.

Matthew Gledhill, Director of Beagle Street, said: "Far too many Britons are at risk of financial difficulty should an adult in the household pass away. The average UK household owes more than £55,000[1], and many of them have no provision in place. People think that life insurance is too expensive - or have never even thought about it.  That's why Beagle Street is so committed to making life insurance simple, affordable and easy to buy. You can be covered in just 11 minutes, and with prices from less than £3 per month, we will make buying life insurance as quick and convenient as car or home insurance."