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Millions of Brits fail to update level of life insurance

14th June 2011 Print

Over 5 million Brits could be leaving their dependants in serious financial difficulty because well over half of those (60%) with life insurance admit failing to update their level of cover following a significant change in their personal circumstances, according to research by Sainsbury's Life Insurance.

Life changing events such as getting married, having children, or buying a home with a bigger mortgage can all have an impact on financial commitments, yet worryingly, millions of Brits don't take this into account and review their life insurance level of cover accordingly. Leaving loved ones behind to cover the cost of a mortgage, raise children, or take care of any other financial responsibilities you may have, without leaving provision, is a huge financial burden that could run in to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The research revealed that the most common change in personal circumstances people are likely to have experienced since purchasing life insurance is changing jobs, cited by 3.58 million people, followed by having children (2.75 million) and getting married (1.71 million).

Sainsbury's Life Insurance is urging people to consider any significant changes in their personal circumstances and ensure that they have adequate cover should the unthinkable happen.

David Cook, of Sainsbury's Life Insurance said: "Many people invest in life insurance when they buy their first home as they want peace of mind that they're covered should anything happen and they're unable to pay the mortgage. However, clearly people are overlooking the need to update their level of cover once their personal circumstances have changed.

"Life insurance provides financial cover should the unthinkable happen and enables people to be secure in the knowledge that their dependants would receive sufficient funds if they were to die, which would help them to protect their standard of living."

The new findings follow research by Sainsbury's Life Insurance, carried out late last year, which revealed nearly one in two mortgage holders in Britain (43%) do not have their mortgage contributions covered by life insurance. Of those who pay a mortgage that isn't covered by life protection, the research indicates that, on average they are personally responsible for an outstanding balance of over £44,000.