Pets image

Parents insure their pets before their children 

Adults are more likely to protect the health of their pets than other family members.

Fewer than one in 10 people, some 4.5m adults, have a critical illness policy. Which, pays out if you are diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer. In contrast, 5.9m people have insured their pets.

Nobody wants to think about themselves or their family becoming critically ill, least of all their children. However, sadly, sometimes there is no escaping it, which is why children’s cover has been a part of adult critical illness policies for more than 20 years.

AIG Life survey

A survey – by insurers AIG Life – found that parents were most likely to have life insurance, a critical illness plan or income protection policy in place. However, six out of 10 parents with children under the age of 18 had no protection at all in place to cover with their own or their child’s medical bills. Or, to replace income should they be unable to work for an extended period.

Parents were asked what the maximum they would be prepared to pay for a critical illness policy which covered themselves and their children. 15% said they would be prepared to spend £5 a month, 17% would spend up to £10 each month and a further 10% would commit to a monthly premium of £20.

These figures are broadly in line with the cost of pet insurance. Where some people will have “budget” policies and others pay for more expensive “lifetime” cover. (Figures courtesy of AIG Life survey Feb 2012)

Most people do not get any help at all with vets’ fees, which have risen dramatically in recent years. In response, many have bought this insurance to help cover these costs. In contrast, medical treatment remains free on the NHS. However, many people underestimate how their income would be affected if they were unable to work due to ill health. Not realising that they would only receive statutory sick pay.

While critical illness insurance pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of a number of serious illnesses (such as cancer, heart disease and stroke). Income protection pays a proportion of your salary each month while you are signed off work due to ill health. Most policies don’t restrict payouts to a limited number of named conditions, and they will continue until you return to work.

Did You Know?

On average, parents can spend £600 in additional expenses per month (such as travel and accommodation) when coping with a child’s cancer diagnosis. (Source: RedArc 2012)

Andy Milburn, the Head of Marketing at AIG Life said: “It’s clear that parents are willing to pay to protect themselves and their children for a reasonable monthly amount. [But] critical illness cover can be taken out for the same monthly outlay as a pet insurance policy and will provide vital support at a time of need.”

Peace of mind

In January 2018, a major insurer added flexible options and enhancements to its children’s critical illness. It increased the maximum payout for a valid children’s claim to 50 per cent of the sum assured up to £50,000.

Whilst specialist paediatric centres have increased in number, they can often be some distance from the family home. Referral to them can, result in families facing additional and significant costs. Not just because of travel but also childcare. Which are often needed outside standard hours.

This is before the loss of income if a parent is staying in a hospital with the child is taken into account. “While it’s hard to think about, we need to accept that a child being seriously ill is likely to impact a family as much as an adult being ill.”

“Carers would need time off work to be with their children. Depending on the nature of the illness, this could affect someone’s ability to work or be at home caring for other children.”

Johnny Timpson – Protection Specialist. (Money Marketing May 2018)

In addition, there is a potential loss in household income in order to fulfil carer responsibilities.

Next steps

Whilst you are welcome to get a quote online, we would recommend you speak to one of our advisers.

Any quote that your adviser provides you with will take into account your circumstances and medical history, as well as your budget!

An online quote is just that – a quote – it isn’t a definite offer of cover. What really matters is the premium you are offered, after your application has been assessed.

Call Freephone 0800 644 4468 – Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 19.00 and on Friday between 09.00 and 17.00.

Please feel free to read our Independent client reviews, or read about the team at Future Proof

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Interested in related stories?

Jon’s moving story – being diagnosed with cancer.

The protection industry pays out over £5.7bn in claims in 2019

What questions will an adviser ask me?

Will my claim be paid?

Why you can trust Future Proof.

The benefits of an index-linked insurance policy

Take a look at our handy guides ‘What Cover is Right for me?’

Do you suffer from a medical condition and concerned you can’t secure Life Insurance?  Please view our ‘Medical Guides’ for further information.

Whilst we will make every endeavour to help someone to arrange insurance, there is no guarantee of success.  All applications are subject to underwriting.

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