Could you cope if you got sick?

retirement healthWith millions taking out loans to pay for the festive excess, and three-quarters of workers suffering ill health over Christmas, leading not-for-profit insurer PG Mutual warns UK professionals of the risk of trying to cover the Christmas debts in the event of having to take long-term sick leave. 


The cost of Christmas to UK families has been a subject of much research and media attention since the start of the recession. Recent figures estimate the average family in the UK was due to spend around £1,134.00 on Christmas in 2013,* with additional research showing that up to 7 million people were planning to take out loans to cover the extra expense** – many of these just to cover basic costs such as heating and food.


Taking out extra credit has become an increasingly common way to cover the cost of Christmas, but with 4 million people still paying off the cost of Christmas 2012 in November 2013,*** it appears many people are being left with long-term debt – debt that they would struggle to cover should they lose their income unexpectedly due to an illness or injury that forced them onto state sickness pay, which currently stands at just £86.70 per week.^


Leading insurer, PG Mutual, has warned that many UK professionals could find themselves struggling to meet the cost of their debt repayments in the event of having to take sick leave. With recent research showing three-quarters of UK workers were likely to suffer from ill health over the Christmas period†, PG Mutual believe that it has never been more important for those who rely on a regular monthly income to take preventative measures to ensure that they can keep up their financial repayments – even in the event of ill health resulting in a loss of pay.


PG Mutual Chief Executive, Mike Perry, explains, “In the current economic climate, many people are not only dipping into their savings; they are resorting to credit cards and loans in order to cover extra expenses such as Christmas. While many people will manage their debt sensibly and make regular repayments, unfortunately an unexpected illness or an accident can throw even the most organised person’s finances into chaos.

“By insuring your income, you are making sure that even if you did have to take sick leave, and this significantly reduces your pay, you will still receive a regular monthly payment from your policy – which could be the difference between paying off your debt, and it spiralling out of control.


“We are always surprised at the number of people who don’t have income protection insurance in place – we would advise people who are juggling a lot of financial obligations after the festive period to look into taking out cover. Once you’ve fallen ill or suffered an accident, it’s too late to get insured, but you’ll still need to meet your repayments somehow – something most people would struggle with on state sickness pay.”


To find out how little income protection could cost you per month, or for more information, visit

Brits resolve to get fit and sort out their finances


  • 13 million* people plan to make New Year’s resolutions
  • Fitness, exercise, healthy eating and losing weight top the nation’s New Year’s resolutions
  • Top financial resolutions include saving money on outgoings, putting more money on deposit and getting out of debt or reducing loans and credit card balances.
  • A fifth (21%) say they usually break resolutions within a month


A survey of New Year’s resolutions has revealed that getting fit tops the nation’s New Year wish list with millions of people resolving to exercise more and lose weight.  Money matters also feature high in the nation’s 2014 ‘to do’ list with a third of those making a New Year’s resolution to sort out their finances and reduce their outgoings.


28% of the 2,000 UK adults quizzed revealed that they are planning to make resolutions in 2014, many (46%) will do so because they genuinely want to change their behaviour.  However, the survey also revealed how hard it can be to keep resolutions, with 21% of people admitting they have usually broken their resolutions before January is out.


   Rank The UK’s top ten resolutions for 2014 %
1. Get fit/take more exercise 54
2. Eat more healthily/change diet 49
3. Lose weight 46
4. Sorting out finances/reducing outgoings 33
5. Take up a new hobby, sport or interest 27
6. Spend more time with friends/family 26
7. Looking for a new job 25
8. Stop/reduce smoking 22
9. Stop/reduce drinking 17
10. Stop/reduce time spent on social media sites 7



Financial resolutions for 2014 concern both reducing spending and increasing savings:


Rank Top financial resolutions for 2014 %
1. Save money on outgoings 38
2. Save more in a deposit account 32
3. Get out of debt or reduce loan and credit card balances 21
4. Shop-around for a better energy deal 17
5. Buy a house or move home 12
6. Invest some money 11
7. Shop-around for insurance 10
8. Put more money into a pension 6
9. Re-mortgage 3



Claire Peate,’s customer insight manager, commented:

“For many of us, a new year represents a fresh start – a time to think about things we want to achieve or behaviour we want to change.  But, despite beginning the year with good intentions – our survey suggests that most people fail to keep their resolutions.


“Resolving to make a change is always a good start, but good intentions on their own aren’t sometimes enough.  If you really want to sort out your finances and reduce your outgoings you need to start taking action.  The good news is there are easy and practical steps you can take to change your finances for the better.  By using comparison sites like, it’s never been easier or quicker to shop around for the best deals on your energy bills, insurances, credit cards and other financial products.”

photo by: simplyla