A survey by Friends Life shows a major difference between who people would turn to for help in a financial crisis and the extent to which they themselves would be willing to help others.  13% claim they would rely on family or friends for financial support if they were too ill to work, but 64% say they would not be able to afford to help others who came to them for money in the same circumstances.

67% lose sleep over their future health, but 49% do not prioritise protecting themselves against the financial consequences of ill health. 20% admit to having no contingency plan at all if they were unable to work due to sickness.

31% would rely on company sick pay if they found themselves unable to work, but a similar number of people confessed to not knowing how long their company would pay them for. Ignorance is greatest among younger age groups with 46% of 18-24 year olds saying they do not know how long their employer would pay them for if they were unable to work.

Many people believe that protection insurance is more expensive than it is: 57 believed that £100k of life cover would cost them more than £11 per month, when in fact the actual cost is much less, around £6 per month.

Steve Casey of Friends Life says, "Many people are apparently relying on contingency plans to pay the bills if they are too ill to work without knowing if they are watertight. In these tough times it is vital that people ensure they have adequate protection in place, and that means making sure that the right things are being prioritised."

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