The research comprising 2,000 respondents revealed 28 per cent said they did not believe protection was necessary, while 25 per cent said the cost of the policy was a concern.
As for reasons that would encourage them to consider insurance, 31 per cent would only do so if an illness made them unable to make mortgage payments. A quarter said a change of job or employment would influence them to do so.
Some 24 per cent mentioned an accident as a reason to protect themselves and 19 per cent said this decision would be based on their age. Additional reasons for potentially taking out protection included reduced pay, as cited by 18 per cent of respondents or the loss of a loved one and Covid-19, as mentioned by 16 per cent of people respectively.
Meanwhile, debt issues would influence 14 per cent of respondents.
Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, said: “After such an uncertain year, it’s made the realisation of falling ill or a change in employment a reality for so many.
“We’re all guilty of thinking that ‘it’ll never happen to me’, but really, the worst-case scenario could happen to anyone.”
He added: “It’s quite frequently the case that it’s once a person has experienced a change in circumstance that they consider protection, but by that point it could be too late.
“Although protection would cover you in the future, a new policy wouldn’t cover previous experiences.”