It's a disturbing fact that in financial terms, many people consider their possessions to be worth more than themselves and their families.

Possessions such as cars and jewellery are nearly always insured because they're expensive to replace. How much would it cost to replace your income if that was lost?

If you were to die or fall ill, the income maintaining your dependant’s standard of living could cease almost overnight. How would your family manage the housing costs, such as rent or mortgage? Who would pay the gas/electricity or telephone bills?

Too many people ignore the financial consequences of death or illness of family members, because they believe that "It won't happen to us", or "We'll manage somehow".

Even in a two-income family, losing one income can have far-reaching results – affecting housing, education and retirement plans - so it makes sense to have insurance that covers these eventualities.

The types of cover in the market, and on which we can offer you guidance, are:

Term Life assurance

The most cost effective form of cover, where premiums are paid, and cover lasts, for a chosen term - hence the expression "term life assurance".

Whole of Life assurance

As the name implies, this form of cover lasts for life, and is generally used to fund death duties and inheritance tax.

Critical Illness (Trauma) assurance

Unlike traditional life assurance, which only pays out upon death, critical illness cover provides a lump sum to the living policyholder should he or she be diagnosed with a critical illness. These are defined by the insurance company, and typically include a heart attack, stroke, cancer, major organ transplants, paralysis, by-pass surgery and kidney failure.

In an average year in the UK, for example:

  • 300,000 people will have a heart attack
  • 175,000 will survive for at least 5 years
  • 240,000 people will be diagnosed as having cancer
  • 35% of males and 46% of females will survive at least 5 years
  • 100,000 will have a stroke
  • 78% will survive

At a time when stress levels should be kept to an absolute minimum, it's crucial to know that your financial security will be maintained. You could use the lump sum to pay for specialist medical care, to make essential adaptations to your home, or simply to pay for a recuperative holiday.

Income Protection insurance

Income Protection Insurance is designed to provide financial support when you need it most. It provides replacement income when you're incapacitated and unable to work as a result of illness.

Statistically, you are seven times more likely to suffer long term sickness or disability than you are to die before reaching the age of 65.

The odds of you being off work for three years or more due to serious illness are three times greater than they are of you dying before you retire.