From life insurance to income protection - why preparing for the worst could be crucial

“Picture the scene. You’ve got a great family, a job you like and a home you love. All is well. Then one day, you pop to the shops, slip on the kerb, and have a serious injury.”

Full disclosure. This might not be the brightest article you read today. But it could be the most important.

Royal Bank Protection Advisor Tony Starns tells a cautionary tale to show how protecting your money with the right insurance could prove invaluable.

“You suddenly can’t walk, can’t drive, can’t take the kids to school. You may be unable to work for some time,” he says. “You’d probably get some cover from your employer, but it may not be enough. You could be a salary down in your household, and what if you’re the main breadwinner?”

Tony points out the myriad financial problems this could cause – mortgage payments, school fees, household bills, all your expenses suddenly become a big challenge.

But he adds, “Setting up some insurance for income protection means you could arrange to have a monthly income for a fixed amount of time if you have an accident like this – which could help you enormously until you can work again.”

Three pillars of protection

This is exactly the kind of worst-case scenario Tony helps customers prepare for. And until you’re ready to go ahead and pay for any specific insurance products, the service he provides to help you figure out your needs is free.

None of us likes to think about things going wrong. And none of us likes to think about paying for something we may never need. But the harsh reality is life doesn’t always go to plan. And being ready with the right insurance could help you and your family avoid extra stress and upheaval at a difficult time.

When Tony talks to customers, he covers three key areas.

1. Mortgage protection

If something happens to you or your partner, you could find yourselves suddenly struggling to pay the mortgage, which could have dire consequences including having to move house.

Tony says, “You might have to move to a smaller place in a new area. Your kids would have to change school, make new friends. But mortgage protection could give you what you need to pay the shortfall and stay in your home. Critical illness cover could also help with this by giving you a lump sum should you fall seriously ill.”

2. Income protection

See our slippery kerb, serious injury example above. This could apply if you work for a firm or are self-employed.

3. Family protection

We won’t sugar coat it, this one’s about death. Your death. Should the absolute worst happen, it would obviously be an extremely distressing time for your family. What if they had to worry about money as well?

Tony says, “While we can never help with the emotional side of something so tragic, we could at least help you get the right cover in place. Getting some form of life cover could help ensure your family is paid a regular income in the event of your death, keeping them debt-free and financially secure.”

Finding the right protection for you

We know this might all sound like scaremongering, but bad stuff does happen. According to switching website Uswitch, there will be a sharp increase in mortgage arrears figures in 2024 and 2025. They say more than 135,000 mortgages will be in arrears in the first three months of next year alone. There are some scary health stats too. For example, according to Cancer Research UK, one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

So we believe protecting your finances is incredibly important. It should be the right protection for you though. And if you speak to Tony or one of his colleagues, you’re in good hands. They would never recommend anything that isn’t right for you. In fact, they’re not allowed to.

Tony explains: “After I speak to a customer, I write a letter summarising what I’m recommending for them. And I have to be able to justify those recommendations, not just to NatWest, but to our regulator too. I therefore always advise specifically for a customers’ needs. If there’s no need for a particular policy, I simply won’t recommend it.”

To find out more about how Royal Bank Premier could help you prepare for the unexpected, call Premier 24 to set up a meeting with the Premier team.

Eligibility criteria apply. All advice and recommendations will be restricted to protection products available to the adviser. Royal Bank gets a commission from the relevant insurance product providers.  

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