"There is an increased need for financial protection and advisers have an invaluable role to play in providing impartial advice and identifying protection gaps."
26% of homeowners have missed a mortgage payment due to falling ill or having an accident, and one in seven (14%) say this has happened more than once, according to research from MetLife UK.
34% of respondents said they have had to take four weeks or more off work due to accident or illness. As a result of this, almost half (47%) said they needed financial support to help them meet their mortgage repayments.
Three in five (61%) took four weeks or more off work to care for themselves, while 19% cared for their partner and the same number (19%) to care for a family member. 17% took time off to care for their child(ren).
The research also found that almost half (47%) of respondents with a mortgage currently have no mortgage financial protection in place, despite 43% saying they are concerned about making their monthly mortgage repayments and 40% having no savings to fall back on.
One in seven (14%) admitted to regretting not having any mortgage protection in place.
Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, commented: “Despite a challenging economic outlook, 2020 saw many people turn their dream of homeownership into a reality. The stamp duty holiday extension announced in the budget, coupled with the "government guarantee" on mortgages, means the number of homeowners is set to rise even higher. But, as ‘Generation Rent’ becomes ‘Generation Buy’, there is an increased need for financial protection and advisers have an invaluable role to play in providing impartial advice and identifying protection gaps.
“Our research found that more than half of homeowners, and those buying a home, claimed to have mortgage protection in place, a much higher figure than the industry average. This raises an interesting question around what constitutes mortgage protection and suggests more needs to be done to enhance understanding and awareness of what financial protection is available, and what is best suited to meet their needs. And as providers, we have all have a role to play in that.”