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And to my family, I bequeath my debts…

16 August 2013
  • 42% of mortgagees wouldn't have enough life cover to pay off their loan
  • Most would rather gamble a tenner on the National Lottery than buy life insurance

New research by price comparison website Gocompare.com highlights the very real possibility that the only thing millions of Brits will be bequeathing to their loved ones is an outstanding mortgage loan.

However, 58% of those surveyed said that if they had an extra tenner a month they would rather chance their luck on the National Lottery than spend it on life insurance.

The survey of over 2,000 UK adults revealed that in the event of their death, 42% of mortgage holders wouldn't have enough life cover to pay off their mortgage, while only 28% of Brits said they have sufficient life insurance and savings to clear their mortgage and other debts, and provide a reasonable income for their family and dependents.

Cost (64%) and apathy (24%) were the main reasons people gave for having insufficient cover, while over a third (34%) of those surveyed thought that they had left it too late to arrange adequate cover.

Jeremy Cryer from Gocompare.com, commented: "None of us like to think about our own mortality, but it's important to plan ahead and make sure loved ones are financially protected when we are no longer around to look after them.  Put simply, having a life policy could make the difference between them being able to continue living in the family home or being forced to sell it to pay off debts.

"As our survey demonstrates, many people think life insurance is expensive, but in reality cover starts from as little as £5 per month - which for the vast majority of us will be a better bet than money gambled on the lottery.  It can be difficult working out how much cover you need, but as a basic rule of thumb, you should certainly be thinking about buying enough cover to clear any outstanding debts, including your mortgage, and providing a capital sum for your dependents. You should also periodically review your cover to take into account changes in your personal circumstances. If you re-mortgage or buy a new home, get married or have children, for example, you should evaluate your requirements to help ensure that you leave your dependents an adequate financial safety net.

"And, even for older customers, a new policy doesn't necessarily mean unaffordable premiums.  In recent years we have seen prices fall, and price comparison sites mean that it's never been easier to shop around for competitive quotes." 

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Notes to editors:

On the 3rd-5th July 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,025 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.