With 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 www.pgmutual.co.uk.