Is income protection important for young employees?

It’s easy to dismiss income protection as something people need later in life when age-related illnesses and conditions become more prevalent. But there is every reason why your staff in their 20s and 30s should value this benefit.

Statistics show an increase in the number of people claiming for income protection in their 30s. Part of this may be because income protection not only protects your employee if a physical condition means they can’t work, but it can also pay out if they suffer with mental ill health. In 2017, mental health was the most common cause of claim on income protection policies in the UK, according to the Association of British Insurers.

Big life events are often a trigger for people to think about their cover. Here are three milestones that some of your employees might experience that could peak their interest in and value a benefit like income protection. So it is worth regularly reminding your staff of the benefits that they have access to, not just on joining your business.

Buying a house

It goes without saying that anybody buying a house should protect their home and the ability to make monthly mortgage payments against the risk of being unable to work.

Income protection cover provides monthly replacement income if your employee is unable to work because of long-term illness or injury. While a critical illness policy would provide a one off lump sum payment if an employee is diagnosed with a number of illnesses covered by the policy.

As well as the financial benefits of cover, most income protection policies have early intervention services and rehabilitation support services; which may include speedy access to treatments such as counselling or physiotherapy to help people recover and ideally return to work. Critical illness policies also usually offer additional support services including access to counselling and advice on anything from sourcing childcare to money management.

This is especially important for those of your employees that have no savings to act as a buffer to help with life’s ups and downs.

It’s also worth noting that there is still a misconception out there that renters don’t need protection. But ultimately, if people are unable to work through illness or injury, the bills still need to be paid if tenants want to remain in their homes.

Getting married

Tying the knot is another trigger for your employees to consider investing in some sort of protection cover, and the same goes for couples choosing to cohabit as married. It’s important to think about it where partners are dependent on each other for splitting their outgoings. If one were to be hit by unexpected illness, having protection in place could mean the difference between staying in their home or having to sell up and/or move. In the worst case scenario, if one half of the partnership were to die, having life insurance would lessen the blow – at least financially – for the remaining partner. It is therefore essential that your staff have a current expression of wish form, either with you or the insurance provider, to indicate their beneficiary(ies).

Having a child

Starting a family, or extending an existing one, is an exciting time. But it does mean that there are dependants relying on your staff’s income to take care of them. So it’s worth considering what would happen if their life was turned upside down by illness or worse still, by death. Income protection and critical illness can help to provide financial support for those affected by illness or injury, while life insurance means that financial support is in place for children and any dependants left behind.

Some critical illness policies also include children’s cover as an additional feature and will pay out up to around £25k if they are affected by a range of illnesses covered by the policy. This can help families with any financial impact such as having to take time off work or help pay towards treatments or any changes that have to be made to the home.

Your younger staff may not fully recognise the benefit of employee protection until they reach some of these milestones in their lives. But including employee protection policies, such as income protection, life insurance or critical illness cover, in their benefits package will provide your employees with vital support when they need it.

Joanna Faith. This article first appeared on yourmoney.com