Skip to main content

The low-down on protection insurance

LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
4 min read

by Katie Crook-Davies, Protection Writer

See author bio

Katie works with insurers and distributors to make protection propositions more accessible, pricing more transparent and marketing messages more simple.See author bio

Guide last reviewed 10 Oct 2023

You’ve possibly not heard the phrase ‘protection insurance’ before, but we’re sure you’ve heard of car, pet and home insurance? Protection insurance works in a similar way but looks after arguably your most important asset. Here we give you the low-down on everything protection, we’ll explain what it is, the different types of product, and how much it costs to get protected.


What is protection insurance?

Just like other types of insurance, protection insurance is there to help when unexpected things happen. You buy your home insurance to cover the costs of restoring your property if it gets damaged. You buy car insurance to help pay for vehicle repairs if you get into an accident. And you may even buy pet insurance to cover any unexpected or emergency vet bills for your furry family member.

These types of insurance focus on protecting your possessions, but what’s more important than all of these things? You. Protection insurance protects you and your family from illness and death - things that no one likes to think about. But we should, because sadly illness and bereavement are realities that many of us can expect to face.

What are the different types of protection insurance?

There are three main types of protection insurance that it’s worth knowing about:

  1. Life insurance
  2. You’ve probably heard of life insurance. It pays a tax-free lump sum if you die during the period of time that you’re covered. There are different types of life insurance, including those that cover you for a set period of time, say 25 years, and those that cover you for your entire life, like whole of life insurance and over 50s insurance. There are also level and decreasing policies, where the amount of cover either stays the same or reduces over time. These types of policy are great for mortgages, as well as replacing lost income to cover household bills when you’re no longer around.

  3. Critical illness insurance
  4. Critical illness insurance is a type of product which is normally added to life insurance policies. Just like life insurance, it pays you a tax-free lump sum amount of money, but only if you fall ill with one of the conditions covered on the policy. At a minimum, critical illness insurance policies will cover cancer, heart attack and stroke, but many now cover around 50 different conditions including organ transplant, deafness and blindness. This type of insurance is useful if you fall seriously ill and need to take time off work. The payout can be used as you like, but often helps to cover the family bills and even pay for private medical treatment.

  5. Income protection insurance
  6. You may not have heard of income protection insurance before, but it’s a really useful product. It replaces your income if you fall ill, or have an accident, and become unable to work. The product pays out a monthly amount and continues to do so until either you recover or retire. Income protection insurance means that you can take the required time off work for treatment and recovery, whilst continuing to pay all your household bills as normal.

What type of protection insurance do I need?

The type of protection insurance you need will very much depend on your personal circumstances. For example, if you own a home and have a mortgage and a family, life insurance and critical illness insurance may be the best products for you. On the other hand, if you’re single and currently rent a property, you might want to think about income protection insurance.

Once you’ve decided on the protection insurance product that works best for you, you’ll need to choose how much cover you need. This will depend on a number of things, including whether you have savings that you’d be happy to use. It will also depend on the level of financial support you get from your employer, and how long you get that support for. You might also have investments that provide a regular income, which could help if you were out of work.

These are all things you’ll need to think about if you decide to take out a protection insurance policy. But don’t worry, our expert advisers are on hand to help. They can work out exactly which product is best for you and the amount of cover you need, based on your specific circumstances. Call us on 0800 316 7253 to chat about your life and needs.

How much does protection insurance cost?

The cost of protection insurance will depend on a number of things, including:

  • Your age
  • Your health
  • Whether you smoke
  • How long the policy lasts
  • How much cover you want
  • How many illnesses are covered by the policy, in the case of critical illness insurance
  • Your job, in the case of income protection insurance

As a simple rule, the more likely you are to make a claim on your policy, the more expensive your cover will be. So, the younger you are when you apply for your policy and the healthier your lifestyle, the lower your insurance premiums will be.

In general, life insurance tends to be the cheapest protection insurance product, followed by critical illness insurance, with income protection insurance being the most expensive. This is because people are less likely to die than they are to fall ill. As an example, a 35-year-old man is almost six times more likely to fall ill and be unable to work for at least two months, than he is to die before retirement*.



Find out what protection insurance could suit you with free advice & quotes

An expert adviser from LifeSearch can explain the benefits of the different types of protection insurance, answer your questions and provide quotes fee-free.

Get fee-free advice & quotes
LifeSearch author Katie Crook-Davies
Katie Crook-Davies Protection Writer
Katie is an independent insurance consultant who is passionate about protection and wants to share that passion with others through engaging marketing content. She hopes that one day people will get as excited about protecting themselves and their loved ones, as she does!
See all articles by Katie Crook-Davies
article thumbnail image Facts & Details

Can I change life insurance companies?

And probably the most important question - should you? Find out in this guide!

By Katie Crook-Davies, Protection Writer

4 min read
article thumbnail image Facts & Details

Five reasons to use a protection adviser

This guide explains what protection advisers do and how they can help to get you and your family protected.

By Katie Crook-Davies, Protection Writer

5 min read
article thumbnail image Facts & Details

A quick guide to family income benefit

The three-minute guide to family income benefit.

By Katie Crook-Davies, Protection Writer

3 min read

LifeSearch Limited is an Appointed Representative of LifeSearch Partners Limited, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Calls may be monitored/recorded.