Protect clients from losing their homes

IAIN MALLON, DIRECTOR OF PROTECTION MARKETING, AXA
IAIN MALLON, DIRECTOR OF PROTECTION MARKETING, AXA

Controversial comments by a government minister have catapulted the latest housing statistics on to the front pages of the newspapers.

Housing minister John Healey was commenting on repossession figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and said that sometimes repossession is the best thing for people.

I can understand the thinking behind his remark. Of course, there are times when consumers have got into major financial difficulties and their only way out is to get rid of their mortgage commitment.

But a staggering 46,000 people had their homes repossessed last year. I doubt many were celebrating as they gave back their house keys.

Although the figures are lower than the 75,000 repossessions predicted by the CML at the start of 2009, they are still 15% up on the previous year.

It’s clear that helping people get a mortgage in the first place is just part of the role of the financial services industry but keeping hold of that home is equally important.

Someone suffering from a critical illness is likely to need to take time off work that could result in their income being reduced, so they could go into arrears with their mortgage.

If budgets are tight when they buy a house, even a small amount of protection cover can help ensure their mortgage can be paid if life takes an unexpected route.

The sum assured might not be enough to pay off the mortgage, but it could give people time to recover from an illness or bereavement without worrying about their home being repossessed.