Are our phones more important than protecting our families with life insurance?
No, we didn’t ask which is more interesting. While Angry Birds can sometimes be more compelling than socialising, going to work and eating (seriously, it’s like an addiction), what actually matters more?
Because the latest Scottish Widows Protection Report shows that only 39% of people think securing their family’s financial security with a life insurance policy is essential, compared to 80% who felt broadband was an absolute necessity and 71% who said their phones were an essential for daily life.
But life insurance is also important – and it is definitely much more important than Candy Crush Saga…
Marathon media sessions
In the UK, we are undeniably committed to our online lives. Recent Ofcom research shows that adults in this country spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day hooked up to media devices of one sort or another. That’s even more time than we spend asleep (eight hours and 21 minutes on average, if you’re interested).
And, while much of that media consumption is spent on valuable things, we do also spend a lot of time messing about too…
Does it cost a fortune?
While the Scottish Widows research showed fewer than four in 10 people felt life insurance was an essential, only 28% believed critical illness cover was a necessity.
That is despite almost a quarter admitting they would run out of money within five months if they lost a significant portion of their income. Critical illness cover pays out if the policyholder is diagnosed with any of an agreed list of conditions, usually including cancer, stroke or heart attack.
And a study undertaken by Legal & General shows that just a fifth of households in the UK are covered by life insurance, while only a third of life insurance customers adding critical illness cover to their policy.
Could it be that some people are put off by cost? Well, they shouldn’t be.
We ran a Gocompare.com search for a 30-year-old non-smoking woman looking to buy £100,000-worth of cover for 10 years. There were six policies available for £6 or less a month – that’s less than 20p a day. For roughly £2 extra it was possible to add critical illness cover too.
And even if you’re older, cover can still be very affordable. For example, a study by Which? showed that the average premium for a 54-year-old non-smoker who wanted £100,000 of life insurance for 10 years is less than £1 a day. That's less than a new single on iTunes or a daily coffee.
What kind of life insurance is right?
It’s simple to talk about life insurance in terms of buying £100,000 of cover for a set period of time, but that's not suitable for everyone.
There are many different types of policy, including some that decrease as your mortgage is repaid, policies designed to pay out an income to dependents rather than a lump sum, and policies that are more like investment vehicles.
Choosing the right policy can make insurance more affordable, while taking the time to decide on the best cover for you will make your loved ones even safer.
Of course, one of the key ways to find an affordable policy is to compare different premiums and find the best and most affordable option. Switch off Fruit Ninja and make your phone do something useful.