The provider’s annual Financial Safety Net research paper found there has been little change from last year’s findings in terms of how long households can cope financially, for example, if the main breadwinner was to lose their job or become too ill to work.
Bright Grey noted, however, that financial help from the state is likely to get progressively less generous. As such, it will become increasingly important for people to plan to look after themselves financially in coming years.
Jennifer Gilchrist, senior product development manager at Bright Grey, said: “What we are trying to do here is gain awareness of the current situation and to perhaps get over the message that with protection you are more resilient in life.”
This year’s survey shows that 32% of the population have life cover while 11% hold critical illness cover, 8% have income protection and 4% have unemployment cover.
These figures are very similar to those for 2012.
Twelve months ago, 33% had life insurance, 11% critical illness cover, 7% had income protection and 5% unemployment cover.
There is only a 2% variation at most for any category of product between men and women in terms of the types of insurance held.
Across the population, of those who don’t have cover in 2013, 43% said it was too expensive, 20% said it was not necessary as they had savings, 12% said they would prefer to spend the money on other things, 5% felt they could rely on government support, 4% would rely on their partner, 4% suggested they did not know how to go about organising insurance and 4% said it was not necessary as it was organised by an employer.
In terms of how well people would cope with losing the earnings of the main bread winner in the family in 2013, 24% would cut back drastically on living expenses, 22% would rely on savings, 9% would sell the house, 3% would borrow from friends and family and 2% would rely on credit.
Gilchrist added: “To look at these findings in a positive light, despite the financial and economic crisis and the well-documented squeeze on household incomes, there has not been a significant drop in coverage.
However, of greater concern, is the fact that other sources of help may be under strain. Most significant is the benefits cap and the fact that state help for unemployment and arguably disability is becoming more restricted.
“The insurance industry still has its work cut out making the case for why insurance represents good value for money, particularly when compared with other calls on spending. The insurance industry also has a challenge in making cover accessible.”