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BLOG: Why mortgage cover matters  

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

This piece begins with a reference to the dreaded C word. No, not Christmas…Covid. With the NHS bringing forward vaccinations due to a new variant, it seems that we’re not quite out of the woods yet.

It’s not something anyone wants to consider really, but figures also show that overall excess deaths (the number of deaths above the five-year average) are still higher than average in 2023, as measured by the Office for National Statistics.

Expecting the unexpected

Of course, we never want to see the worst happen, but the resurgence of another COVID-19 variant brings to mind the very real risk presented by unexpected death pre-retirement – that of leaving dependents without enough financial support, whether that’s a spouse or children too.

This is particularly important when it comes to supporting a mortgage, usually the largest loan the average Briton takes out on their whole life. ‘The Mortgage Cover Gap Report’, which assesses the financial risk for mortgage holders without life insurance across the UK, shows that the equivalent of over £400 billion in mortgage debt is unprotected by life insurance should the tragedy of an unexpected death occur.

Who needs life insurance?

Stats show us that mortgage debt is much more of a shared affair these days, as almost three-quarters (73.9%) of couple families have both parents in employment. In fact, women earn the same as or more than their male partner in almost three-in-ten households and are the principal breadwinner in an estimated 26% of British households. Therefore, ensuring both lives are covered by adequate insurance is essential.

Even in a family where only one partner is employed, calculations will show that consideration of life insurance for both partners is still warranted. If we examine the broad range of responsibilities within a household, from childrearing and cooking to managing household admin, one American study estimated that the cost of replicating these duties could reach $133,440 a year (more than £106,000).

As easy as 1,2,3

The problem is, many people are uneasy about taking out life insurance, it seems, because they don’t really understand the process. They’re worried that they will have to answer complicated medical questions or will forget to include information that could impact a claim. It’s been found that they struggle to connect with something that will pay out once they’re no longer around.

Yet, despite these perceived hurdles, once the process is started, getting the right life insurance can be easily talked through with providers. Expert teams will be able to support both online or over the phone. And the costs for a young family – the ones who will benefit most in the event of something unexpected – are often the lowest. Typically, a young person with a family can expect to obtain life cover of £200,000+ for around £10/month (based on a 30-year-old non-smoker, with £225k decreasing term cover for 20 years, and not on an interest-only mortgage), equivalent to taking on a basic mobile phone contract or foregoing one visit to the cinema.

So, coming full circle. Fingers crossed there are limited household illnesses as we head into the colder months, and that the only C-word on the horizon is Christmas. However, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and safeguard your family so you can enjoy quality time with peace of mind.

Dan Brumhead, affinity partnership and distribution relationship manager, Beagle Street