Consumers reeling from record food and fuel prices and a proposed 40% hike in utility costs are being urged by independent Payment Protection Provider, British Insurance, to ensure they have the means to pay their bills, should accident, sickness or unemployment occur.
According to a recent YouGov survey, one in five consumers would cancel their payment protection insurance (PPI) to save money. However, British Insurance Managing Director, Simon Burgess, believes now is not the time to reject a policy that could provide a vital financial safety net in times of hardship.
More than half a million people face redundancy every year and building society research shows that 73% of the population couldn’t support their families if they lost their job. This is a frightening statistic and one that is easily addressed by the purchase of a cheap, yet comprehensive policy that pays out should there be a change in financial circumstances.
Simon Burgess says, “The immoral actions of banks and building societies have caused people who need mortgage, loan or income payment protection to lose faith in this cover. It is perceived as a con, yet in reality it is a lifeline for those who lose a salary and are without the savings to make monthly mortgage or loan payments or who are unable to generate a level of income that would pay the plethora of bills ranging from utilities, fuel and groceries to council tax, telecoms and other insurance premiums. My advice to consumers is to hold your nerve, take out or continue with PPI and look around at what other monthly savings can be made. If your PPI premium is one of the most competitive on the market, it should not make such a dent in your insurance bill. If it is expensive, shop around for an alternative.”
The gas and electricity watchdog Energy Watch predicts the 40% hike will add £400 to annual energy bills and this coupled with the other price rises, plus an increase in mortgage and loan rates, means it will be even harder for consumers to meet their financial commitments.
People who are struggling financially now, need to consider what it would be like if they lost their monthly income. It would be a nightmare scenario, but one that could be avoided.
Income protection insurance: News update: July 2008