The average British household would run out of money in less than 14 days if a wage earner fell critically ill or died.
New research from Aviva suggests that the average British household may only have enough cash to cover bills for 14 days if they or their partner fell critically ill or died. One in four say they could only access £100 without further borrowing.
Without further borrowing, the average British household could get their hands on only £914 of disposable cash, less than two weeks of the average weekly household expenditure of £471. This is less than 1% of the average Aviva critical illness payout of £78,707.
Should the worst happen, Britons are drastically under-insured with only 37% of households covered by life insurance or critical illness cover. Should they have to raise alternative income, one in five would be willing to sell their home, while a third would give up their car.
The majority consider it their personal responsibility to cover any loss of income, should the worst happen. However, 17% see it as the Government's responsibility to cover any income loss due to a critical illness or death, and 9% would expect an employer to fill the gap. Individuals could expect a maximum of £95.15 a week from the government.
Louise Colley for Aviva says, "We understand the huge impact that a critical illness or death can have on a family, both emotionally and financially. Money worries are the last thing a family would need at such a distressing time, so we would encourage everyone to take the time to consider life and critical illness cover to make sure they have adequate protection in place. The majority of British people see it as their responsibility to cover any loss of income in the case of them not being able to work due to a critical illness or death; but most simply don't have enough money to see them through this period. It is worrying how little money Britons would be able to access without further borrowing, and how big the shortfall could be when we consider how much a critical illness or bereavement could actually cost."
Critical illness: News update: 24 February 2010