This is a difficult question to answer, because it depends on your situation. As a general rule, if you have a mortgage you’ll need buildings and contents insurance, and you may need income protection cover, too. For those of you with dependents, life assurance is a must. And you might want to consider critical illness cover for additional security.
The pages in this section are designed to give you general information about the kind of cover available to you and the circumstances in which you might benefit from it. Once you’ve had the chance to read them you’ll then be ready to call our protection advisers for a more in-depth discussion about which kind of cover is right for you.
*For insurance business we offer products from a choice of insurers.
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Accident, sickness & unemployment (ASU) protection is one solution to the problem of how to get income if you’re not able to work. ASU is a short-term kind of insurance cover which only pays out for a period of between 12-24 months. As such, ASU policies can be a good product for giving you peace of mind if you’re worried you might lose your income because of short-term illness or redundancy.
When you take out ASU, your cover levels are planned to be enough to meet your mortgage repayments plus regular monthly outgoings. You’ll usually be able to choose a level of payout between 60-65% of your normal income. Together with any statutory payments you’re eligible for, this is often enough to keep your household ticking over while you recover or look for another job.
Although buildings insurance isn’t compulsory like motor insurance, taking out this kind of policy is usually a precondition of your mortgage. And it’s a condition which certainly makes good sense: after all, what would happen if your home were to be substantially damaged in a flood, fire or other major incident? You’d still be liable to pay your mortgage but would also have to find somewhere else to live.
Critical illness cover has some similarities to life assurance, the big difference being that it becomes payable if you’re unlucky enough to be diagnosed with one of the illnesses mentioned on your insurance policy. This is usually given as a one-off, tax- free lump sum designed to pay off your mortgage and cover any other expenses you may incur. Like life assurance, it’s a must-have if your family depends on your income to keep a roof over their heads and maintain a reasonable standard of living.
Life assurance isn’t something everybody needs to take out, but if you have dependents such as school-age children then it could be vital. The financial help your loved ones can expect from the government in the event of your untimely death is minimal, and could leave them in very difficult circumstances, even facing the possibility of homelessness. But with life assurance, you have the guarantee that they’ll at least be able to stay in your home with the mortgage paid in full.
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