Nearly half would accept better benefits over higher wages in order to feel secure.


Only 1 in 5 have income protection cover in the event of becoming too ill or disabled to work. Research by insurer Zurich found that this despite the fact that as many as 42% have experienced income loss in their working lives due to serious illness.

The research indicates over half (56%) of respondents’ preference would be for the government to cover income loss in the event of illness, followed by their employer for 37%. Nearly half (47%) of respondents also reported being willing to accept a better benefits package including income protection benefits rather than higher wages.

Furthermore, only 19% claim to have a good knowledge of income protection products and this lack of understanding also seems to extend to price with many overestimating how much cover costs.  Over a quarter of respondents said they would be willing to spend 5 per cent of their income on it though such cover can be bought for significantly less.

In the absence of cover, half of respondents (47%) rely on savings should the worst happen, with 23% reporting the savings would only last them a month and 21% stating three months.

Gary Shaughnessy, Global Life, CEO, Zurich said: “The income protection gap is a growing challenge, for individuals and their families and society as a whole.  For a family, we know that the impact of the main earner not being able to work through illness or disability can be devastating with financial hardship resulting in the loss of the family home for those worst hit.  

“As we witness a shift in the burden of responsibility from the state to individuals, people need to take more responsibility to protect themselves and those they love. As an industry, we have a duty to continue raising awareness and help people mitigate this growing risk.”