No one wants to contemplate falling seriously ill or being badly injured in an accident one day in the future.

But products offering protection against such eventualities can be a vital source of income if the worst does happen.


According to research by MetLife (, around a fifth (18%) of those who haven’t taken out financial protection say this is because they’re not sure how they would benefit.

However, 19% of people say the coronavirus pandemic has prompted them to purchase or consider buying an income protection policy.

Insurance umbrella
Having the right kind of financial protection can be vital if the worst happens (Chris Radburn/PA)

Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, says: “Having the right financial protection in place could help alleviate some stress and worry.”

Insurance policies to consider

Not sure what financial protection policies do? While precise policy details will vary between insurers, here’s a general guide from MetLife…

Critical illness cover

Being diagnosed with a critical illness might mean you need to take time off work for your treatment and recovery, having a severe impact on your finances. This insurance can pay out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of the specific illnesses covered by your policy.

Health insurance

Health insurance pays for private treatment if you fall ill, but policies will differ depending on the provider. It is designed to pay for private treatment of medical conditions that respond quickly to care, as well as elective surgery and tests.

Accident insurance

Personal accident insurance, also known as personal injury insurance, pays out compensation if you suffer from a serious injury or even death due to an accident. It can protect you and your family against loss of income, and help with bills and other expenses.

Income protection

This pays out if you’re unable to work because of injury or illness. Products often pay until retirement, death or your return to work, although short-term income protection policies – lasting for one or two years – are also available at a lower cost.

Mortgage payment cover

If you are unable to work due to illness or redundancy and are no longer receiving a secure income, this product allows you to continue paying off your mortgage.

Life insurance

Life insurance enables you to leave behind money for your family when you die. This can be used to support them for several years, to replace lost income, or to pay off a large debt such as your mortgage. Your age, health, lifestyle and how much cover you need, as well as the type of policy you have, determine how much you pay.

Family income benefit

Family income benefit is a type of life insurance. Generally with life insurance, your loved ones will receive a lump sum payout from your policy when you die. With family income benefit, they will instead be paid a regular income.

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