Insurance ignorance - 24% of Brits putting themselves at financial risk

11 November 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Almost a quarter of Brits are putting themselves at financial risk by going without life, medical, home and travel insurance.

Brits are putting themselves at financial risk by cutting back on essential insurance, a new survey from Fairinvestment.co.uk has revealed.

In fact, 24 per cent of people questioned confessed to not having life insurance, home insurance, medical insurance, payment protection insurance or travel insurance*, all of which could prove invaluable in the case of an accident or emergency.

Of those insurance types, the most commonly owned is home insurance, as 62 per cent of those questioned said they had some sort of home insurance in place. Payment protection insurance proved to be the most disposable type as just 12 per cent of respondents had taken this out, while 75 per cent of respondents confessed to not having travel insurance.

Commenting on the results, Fairinvestment.co.uk spokesperson Rachael Stiles said: "It is good to see that people are valuing their homes and contents by taking out insurance. But the fact that almost a quarter of people are without insurance like life and travel insurance is concerning.

"As budgets get tighter, I can understand why Brits are cutting back, but insurance should be one area that is sustained. Particularly when it comes to travel insurance because it makes sense to pay a small one off premium for cover rather than having to shell out for hefty unexpected costs like medical expenses, lost luggage and replacement flights. Some travel insurance providers offer single trip cover from less than £4 and annual cover from just £20**."

Life insurance is an area of cover that is affected by age; just 10 per cent of 19 to 21 year olds questioned have a life insurance policy in place, compared to 53 per cent of 51 to 55 year olds.

"When it comes to life insurance, young people should be more aware as you never know what is around the corner. And, if you are the main bread-winner and have a mortgage or rent to pay and something happened to you, your partner or loved ones would be left to foot the bill, whereas a life insurance policy could cover such expenses. A 25 year old male can get a policy for as little as £6*** a month, making it an affordable expense."

When the results are broken down by gender, it seems that men and women think alike when it comes to the value of insurance, as 24 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women confessed to being without life, home, travel, payment protection or medical insurance.

However, one area that men see as more important to insure than women is health as 22 per cent of men have taken out a policy, compared to just 14 per cent of women.

When it comes to age, 53 per cent of 19 to 21 year olds admitted to having none of the mentioned insurance products, whereas in the insurance conscious 46 to 50 bracket, only 6 per cent did not have either life, home, travel, medical or payment protection insurance.

Miss Stiles added: "The younger generation should be more aware of the benefits of insurance. Money is especially tight when you are young and possibly a student, but it will be even tighter if you are forced to replace stolen or damaged items such as computers out of your own pocket.

"It seems it is those of middle age that are more aware of the benefits of insurance, perhaps they have learnt through life's mistakes!"

*Survey conducted by OnePoll for Fairinvestment.co.uk with 2,511 respondents

**Female 27 year old travelling in Europe for three days, cover with Travelinsurance-org.uk £3.24 and with TravelInsurance.co.uk £3.37 for three days. For annual cover, £19.90 with Travelinsurance-uk.org and £20 with TravelInsurance.co.uk using the Confused.com service in partnership with Fairinvestment.co.uk.

***Male non smoker born 01/01/1983, level term, sum assured £100,000 for a term of 25 years through Legal and General.