Earn while you're ill
Simon Read on how to cover yourself against loss of earnings
These days you have to make your own arrangements for protecting your income in case of disability or serious illness. You can do so through permanent health insurance (PHI), also known as income protection. It's a relatively cheap way of giving yourself peace of mind, and has become increasingly important against a background of gradual reductions in state benefits.
Under the present regulations, a married 30-year-old man earning pounds 20,000 would only qualify for Incapacity Benefit of up to a third of his take- home pay - implying a massive reduction in living standards. If you're self-employed, PHI is even more crucial, as you won't even have the cushion of some help from an employer.
To buy an income replacement of pounds 500 a month would cost a 30-year-old man pounds 14.79 a month through Sun Alliance. That is based on a three-month waiting period; if you agree to wait six months before payments start, the cost of the insurance falls to pounds 11.96. For income replacement of pounds 1,000 a month, double the monthly premiums.
There are a wide variety of PHI policies on the market and the wise buyer will study more than one before signing up. All the big insurers offer them, including Abbey Life, Allied Dunbar, Eagle Star, Friends Provident, General Accident, Legal & General, Norwich Union, Sun Alliance, and so on.
PHI income is generally limited to 75 per cent of pre-tax earnings but you should work out how much cash you'll need balanced against the cover you can afford. Then think about the waiting period; how long will you be paid by your employer?
You may want to consider "own occupation" policies. Some claimants have been caught out when they are unable to return to their own job, but are declared fit by their doctor for other types of work. Suppose that after your illness you cannot return to your previous highly paid occupation and have to take up lower-paid work. You might end up earning less than you were being paid by the insurer when you were sick. An own occupation plan will continue to pay until you can return to your own profession or until retirement. The plans are a little more expensive, but you may think it worthwhile.
You don't have to be in work to start a PHI policy. Parents and other carers can also experience financial hardship if they fall ill. Norwich Union Healthcare, for example, charges pounds 9.70 a month for benefit of pounds 833 per month for a 30-year-old housewife. Insurers will let you buy insurance for up to pounds 10,000 a year for this type of cover
12 December 2014 06:17 PM
The sun is shining on people who struggle to heat their homes and it’s thanks to a sense of community
12 December 2014 06:23 PM
Struggling people need help, understanding and forbearance, not ill-thought-out pronouncements
12 December 2014 06:20 PM
You won’t find me bashing the banks for the sake of it, but sadly they’ve deserved all the criticism that’s been sent their way in recent years
12 December 2014 06:02 PM
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice: 'The injustice of shock bills for crime victims must end. The Government must stand up for consumers and cap bills from lost or stolen phones at £50'
12 December 2014 05:57 PM
Stirring the pot: the Indian Government’s reforms of labour rules offer hope of a brighter future for businesses
12 December 2014 05:53 PM
Knight of the road, look out: you’ve got a new rival
06 December 2014 12:00 AM
Simon Read: The Chancellor has stamped on an unfair tax. But will the delight of homebuyers mean misery for others?
06 December 2014 12:00 AM
Were you surprised by the sudden reform of the rules for stamp duty on property purchases? I certainly was. I've been calling for ages for a change in the tax to make it more fair – and, at a stroke, George Osborne did just that on Wednesday in his Autumn Statement.
29 November 2014 12:00 AM
21 November 2014 04:33 PM
With some people are weighing up whether they will be better off cashing in their final salary pension next spring, Samantha Downes asks the experts
21 November 2014 06:44 PM
Your children have it all, your partner gets nothing
21 November 2014 07:12 PM
Halfords is gearing up for Christmas
21 November 2014 06:54 PM
Fields of dreams: venture capital trusts help young companies to grow, potentially delivering big returns for investors
21 November 2014 06:32 PM
There are many reasons for people to turn to high-cost credit, but being turned down by their banks for a loan is one
21 November 2014 07:15 PM
The £150 incentive from Yorkshire and Clydesdale runs from now until 28 February next year, but you must use the official Current Account Switching Service (CASS) and close your existing account to qualify
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens