With thoughts of the credit crunch and house prices slumping all around, it is difficult to escape the sense of financial foreboding.
New research carried out on behalf of PruProtect by Opinium Research on 2,213 adults, suggests that more than half of Britons (52 %) currently consider their financial situation their most pressing concern, closely followed by the health of their family (46 %) and their own personal health and wellbeing (40 %). 58 % agree that life has become more pressured because of the current economic uncertainty.
Paying the bills on time (85 %) and calculating household budgets (35 %) now sit firmly at the top of Britons' list of priorities, while luxuries such as planning a holiday (5 %) have taken a back seat as paying out more on essential living costs, such as mortgages, fuel and groceries, takes its toll nationwide.
Few Britons are prepared for potentially negative economic or health-related circumstances. Almost one in ten Britons (7 %) bury their head in the sand when it comes to facing up to these concerns.
Only 13 % have mortgage payment protection insurance, payment protection insurance or accident, sickness and unemployment insurance (ASU) and almost one in ten (9 %) have no insurance at all. Less than a fifth (19 %) think they would be able to maintain their current lifestyle if they fell ill and were unable to work, but a staggering third of the population (33 %) do not know how much money they would need to live off if they were unable to work due to illness.
Sammy Rubin, of PruProtect, says: "There is obviously a gap between what issues we, as a society, are worrying about and what we are doing to alleviate these worries. Protecting ourselves in the event of changes to our personal circumstances can take a huge weight off our minds."
It seems that facing up to our concerns and niggling to-do lists can help give Britons peace of mind. The majority (83 %) consider themselves an organised bunch when it comes to managing their personal admin tasks and almost a third (30 %) even try to sort out their problems straight away. 28% admit to feeling relieved and ready to face the day when they've ticked things off their to-do list.
The PruProtect suite of products includes Life Cover, Income Protection and severity based Serious Illness cover. PruProtect is based on the innovative Vitality points system and is designed to encourage you to take control of your own health and wellbeing, which gives you the potential to help manage future premiums. By recognising people's efforts to look after themselves, PruProtect says it is able to offer a more comprehensive set of benefits than traditional providers at a very competitive price.
Private medical insurance: News update: June 2008