17 Jul 2020
- Over half of Brits’ finances impacted by Covid-19
- Many have completely ‘used up’ financial safety nets such as emergency funds or credit cards
- Significant minority now have less than three months’ savings in the bank
- Experts at LifeSearch urge people to have those tricky conversations about money to help to safeguard against future financial upheaval
12 million Brits are now without a financial safety net because of the coronavirus outbreak. 
According to new research from the UK’s leading life insurance broker LifeSearch, more than half of us have been financially impacted by the pandemic, forcing two in five (43%) of those affected to rely on their savings and emergency funds to make ends meet. 
And three in 10 (31%) impacted by the pandemic had to borrow more – maxing out credit cards, relying on government schemes, turning to family and friends for loans. Others even sold off personal items to make ends meet. 
A safety net of three months’ savings to cover essential outgoings is often recommended. But the financial pressures of the pandemic mean that many have just two months or less in the bank . And with a quarter of Brits (23%) now without any safety net at all many are vulnerable to financial uncertainty in the future.
Money has long been a conversational taboo. But the events of the past few months have shown the importance of discussing financial planning and worst case scenarios with loved ones . So now as part of the Let’s Start Talking campaign, experts at LifeSearch are urging people to have those difficult conversations, to help prepare for future uncertainty or upheaval.
Emma Walker from LifeSearch said: “The events of the last few months have shown us that we can never know what’s around the corner. It has been a scary time for families, and financial safety nets have undoubtedly taken a hit. But it’s great to see that more people are taking into account the importance of planning for the worst, even if these conversations might be awkward or uncomfortable.
“It’s important that families know about all the help that’s on offer when they’re building their safety net back up. And at LifeSearch we’re committed to protecting the life you love and helping you put contingencies in place. We can’t stop things going wrong but we can help provide the safety net if they do.”
To test your financial resilience following coronavirus, LifeSearch has created a simple quiz - https://www.lifesearch.com/Landing-Pages/Stress-test-your-safety-net
Notes to editors
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Research was conducted by Opinium on behalf of LifeSearch. This was an online poll of 2,001 adults aged 18+ and a national representative spread. The research was conducted in May 2020.
Opinium estimates the UK adult population is 52,673,000. 23% of people have used up their financial safety nets = 11,924,472 people
 57% of people said they had felt the impact of Covid-19 on their finances. 43% of those affected used their savings to help with the impact and 9% used up emergency funds
 15% maxed out credit cards, relying on government schemes (14%), turning to family and friends for loans (9%) or even selling off personal items (9%)
 One in three (34%) would now be able to survive on their savings for two months or less. For one in five (17%), their savings would now keep them going for less than a month
 61% said coronavirus showed them the importance of saving and financial planning and 51% said it showed them the importance of discussing worst case scenarios with their family
You know it as life insurance, we call it protecting families. And since 1998, LifeSearch have protected hundreds of thousands of UK families from the financial fallout of catastrophe, critical illness and death.
Over 21 years, LifeSearch has grown into the UK's biggest life insurance broker, offering expert, independent advice to customers around life insurance, critical illness cover, income protection, family income benefit, serious illness cover and business insurance
In two decades, LifeSearch has picked up hundreds of awards for its culture, expertise and customer service. Boasting a Trustpilot score of 4.9, the company is ranked number #3 in the Sunday Times' 2019 list of Best Places to Work.
LifeSearch is an appointed representative of LifeSearch Partners Limited, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
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