Only 14% of Brits have critical illness cover

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

One in three don’t know how they’d cope if they suffered a critical illness

Brits are ill-prepared for the financial burden of critical illness, according to research from Nationwide Protection.

And many would struggle to meet their mortgage costs and other monthly bills if they were to fall seriously ill.

Critical illnesses such as cancer, a heart attack or stroke can be very stressful for both the person diagnosed and their families, but worries over how to continue paying the bills adds to the pressure.

However, just 14% of people currently have critical illness cover, according to Nationwide. This is despite nearly three in five (57%) people having had an experience of critical illness – either themselves or through family and close friends.

Money worries

The Nationwide Protection poll, of 2,000 UK adults, shows that less than a third (31%) could afford to support themselves if they were unable to work due to a critical illness, with a further one in three (36%) saying they wouldn’t know how to cope financially.

Nearly half would rely on their savings to plug the gap, but the average person has just £7,707 saved – an amount that could quickly dwindle if it was being used to pay the mortgage and other bills.

Rob Angus, spokesperson for Nationwide said: “A critical illness diagnosis can be devastating and stressful for the whole family, but if you’re unable to work or are forced to give up work, then the worry of how you will pay the bills can add to the pressure.

“Having a critical illness policy in place takes away the worry of how you will cope financially and instead focus all your attention on your recovery.”