What would you do if your income suddenly stopped? Do you have a nest egg tucked away? Or like most people do you have less than one month’s income in the bank? Simply laughing off the idea could one day put you on the spot. It’s more likely to happen than you think. Independent research by Metlife reveals that a staggering 41% of people lose their income at some point in their life.

Looking at the figures in more detail one in five people get sick and one in five are made redundant. If you‘re self employed or a contractor you may reason this couldn’t happen to you. But think again. We’re talking about the general population here. What makes you think that the self employed are less likely to get sick? And redundancies are happening at an alarming rate. They signal the economy isn’t working the way it should. If you’re self employed or a contractor you’re vulnerable. You can’t control how your clients are faring, so it’s unwise to dismiss the issue out of hand.

Some think they may be covered!

If you think critical illness cover or even payment protection insurance will cover all the important eventualities you could be in for a shock. Neither of these is designed to replace your income for any length of time. Critical illness typically pays a lump sum against very specific illness such as different types of cancer. Payment protection on the other hand doesn’t replace your income. It will make sure a payment you make to a mortgage company or bank is paid. What about everything else?

There’s another aspect to consider too. Retirement ages are generally rising.  Older people are generally more at risk from redundancy and ill health. If you’re self employed and planning to work to your 60 or older, will you bet against falling ill at some point?

The irony is of course that people insure pets, homes, cars – even holidays! But they neglect to insure themselves. As the Metlife figures show, you never know what’s waiting round the corner.