Cover is needed for more than holidays

ED STUART BROWN
ED STUART-BROWN HEAD OF PROTECTION FRIENDS PROVIDENT

Despite continuing tough times more people are expected to travel abroad this year than in 2009.

Around 80% of those who go abroad take out a travel insurance policy and the top reason they cite for doing so is to protect themselves against illness or injury while they are away.

This shows that a surprisingly high percentage of people are prepared to protect themselves for those two weeks, particularly compared with the much lower 29% of individuals who pay for income protection.

Of course, the latter would give everyone similar cover against illness and injury as they have on holiday but for the long term.

Buying travel insurance has become an automatic part of the process of booking a holiday. It’s on the checklist alongside ensuring passports are still valid and visiting the bureau de change to get a fistful of foreign currency.

Even consumers travelling to European Union countries where many of their hospital bills would be covered take out this extra protection.

If we are ever going to tackle the £190bn IP gap a similar mindset needs to be adopted when considering personal finances.

If families and individuals understand their lifestyle including all their overseas holidays rely on one thing – their ability to earn an income – they would be more likely to want to protect it and IP would become a must-have.

I suspect that in the event of a breadwinner being unable to earn, the holiday is one of the first things to go.