Recent research by YouGov found that only 15% of people asked would get by without any financial difficulty should their financial circumstances change for the worse due to long term illness or incapacity.

Of the remaining percentage 30% said they would constantly struggle should their circumstances change for the worse due to long term illness whilst 48% felt they would struggle from time to time.

The survey also revealed that only a quarter of people thought about future financial priorities and goals and made appropriate plans to achieve them.

Steve Gazzard of The Institute of Financial Planning, says: "While we were pleased to see from the research that a lot of people do hold some form of protection product, it does appear that over three quarters of dependents would continue to struggle in the case of long term illness or incapacity."

Ben Heffer of Defaqto says: "The YouGov research underlines what many in the industry already know, that protection has to be sold. Providers must be prepared to devote more marketing effort to protection, particularly income protection.”

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