Majority Of Self-Employed Individuals Are Under-Protected

In Business, Industry News, Protection by Paul Connolly

We recently informed you about how most independent financial advisers (IFAs) believe that younger consumers are not securing protection until it’s too late. The aforementioned article outlines that there is a huge opportunity to grow the protection market among young consumers, however, many believe Income Protection is too expensive – despite the fact it can often be taken advantage of for less than half the price of a monthly gym membership.

But it’s not just younger consumers who are under-protected. Self-employed individuals are also placing themselves and their families at risk by not having financial safeguards in place if they are unable to work.

In fact, new research by MetLife shows that more than half of advisers believe their self-employed clients are under-protected.

According to the survey of 200 advisers conducted in September 2018, 56% of advisers believe self-employed individuals do not have sufficient protection to provide financial support in the event they were unable to work, whereas 34% believe they do have enough protection.

A Potential Major Growth Area

The MetLife study also revealed that the average adviser now has more than one in five (21%) self-employed clients. Furthermore, 57% of advisers say self-employed clients are a potential major growth area.

This reflects the growing trend of being self-employed across the UK, with government figures showing that 4.77 million people are currently self-employed – which equates to around 14.7% of the total workforce.

Nevertheless, advisers are still struggling to convince their self-employed clients to increase their protection, with more than two in five (43%) indicating that this is the case. Like younger consumers (as highlighted in our recent post linked to at the start of this piece) self-employed individuals see price as a big barrier, with 39% saying they worry about the cost of protection.

A further 34% of advisers said clients do not prioritise individual protection, while 12% believe policies are inflexible.

Speaking about the findings of the research, Richard Horner, Head of Individual Protection at MetLife UK, said: “Self-employed workers are particularly vulnerable if they or one of their family suffers an injury or accident which makes it difficult to work and earn money.

“The growth of self-employment has been a major trend across the UK economy and advisers are seeing this mirrored in their client base with on average one in five clients now self-employed.”

Self-employed individuals are particularly at risk because they do not have the same rights to Statutory Sick Pay as their employed peers. Everyday risks, like children falling ill or getting injured, often mean that self-employed individuals have to take time off. Individual income protection can play a key role in helping to support the self-employed.

Are you self-employed? Do you have suitable income protection in place? How would you and your family cope if you were suddenly unable to work due to an illness or accident? If you’re not sure, perhaps it’s time to consider securing suitable protection.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to do so after you find yourself in a position where you need it. Contact Premier Choice Group today to find out more.

I joined Premier Choice Group as a Healthcare & Protection Consultant in 2017, where I now look after the needs of over 200 clients nationwide. Prior to joining the Premier Choice Group, I worked for a large Private Healthcare Insurer, VitalityHealth, and managed SME and Individual clients across the country.