3.9m workers uncertain about when to purchase insurance products – The Exeter

The Exeter has found that 13% of working people – a total of 3,952,000 based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) employment data – were uncertain about the best time to purchase an insurance product such as health insurance, life insurance and income protection.

The Exeter’s ‘Health & Financial Fears Report’ found that 94% of respondents believed insurance products were important, but there was lingering uncertainty about how and when to purchase them.

When it came to health insurance, 16% were unsure of the best time to purchase a plan, compared with 14% for income protection and 10% for life insurance.

15% said that experiencing an illness or during the immediate aftermath was the most important time to consider a health insurance purchase, while 9% said they would consider purchasing life insurance.

Only 8% said they would purchase income protection.

Other popular times for considering a health insurance purchase included when starting a first job (12%) and when offered insurance by an employer (11%).

However, only 5% of respondents considered retirement as the most important time to consider health insurance, despite this being the point at which any employer-provided policy would naturally end.

17% of respondents stated they would consider income protection when buying a property or getting a mortgage, followed by 19% for life insurance.

One in five (20%) of respondents said they would consider life insurance when having a child, compared with just 8% who would consider income protection.

Karen Woodley, head of healthcare distribution at The Exeter, said: “Throughout our Health & Financial Fears research, we found a common theme: UK workers understand the value of insurance but are not proactively investing in products to safeguard their financial and physical wellbeing.

“Often UK workers may wait until they are ill to consider health insurance, where a proactive approach would offer far more security.

“Waiting too long risks a consumer taking out a policy after a medical condition has developed, which may mean that the condition is not immediately covered, or covered at all, under the application.

“Choosing the right insurance at the right time can be a tricky prospect without expert advice, making engagement with UK workers both individually and through employer health insurance schemes, hugely important.”

Jamie Page, head of protection distribution at The Exeter, added: “One of the more concerning trends from our research was how few UK workers considered taking on a mortgage as being an important time to consider income protection, when having a means of income that allows you to make repayments if you can’t work is an incredible safety net to have.

“The same logic applies to those who rent, where an income protection policy might make the difference between being unable to afford rental payments and being able to stay in a property.

“As an industry there is still work to be done to educate people on the benefits that insurance can offer throughout their adult working life, not just at the point of making a mortgage application or after a health scare.”