Optimum Blog

Don’t Leave Home Without It

There are some things that you hear so often that you don’t actually have to hear the whole thing to know exactly what’s coming next. You can catch the end, the middle or the beginning and you know what’s missing.

A few bars of your favourite piece of music, famous catchphrases, lines from your favourite film or even advertisements. For example..


“Don’t leave xxxx without It”

“I’ve xxxxxxx so I’ll finish”

“Xxxxxxx we have a problem”


As a Financial Adviser I experience on a regular basis something very similar (at least to start with) and you may find yourself saying the same thing as soon as there’s a hint that you’re going to be asked about income or in fact any protection.


“I/We don’t need it. I/We can survive on state benefits.

“I/We will let the Government look after us like they do everyone else”


This is still a widely held view but when challenged on the reality of such benefits that view is repeatedly dismissed.

In the first instance, are you aware of the processes, form filling, documentation and complications that typify applying for state benefits?

Even more importantly do you know just how much you will actually get from the Government if your application is successful? Will it be enough? How much is enough, do you even know?

Employment Support Allowance is the state benefit available to people the Government decide are unable to work because of ill health. To claim, you will need to complete a 57 page form. Yes, that’s right, a 57 page form and you guessed right, it isn’t an easy form to complete. It’s even harder when you’re in a position of being unable to work owing to ill health!

So how much are you likely to get? Will it be enough to support your lifestyle while unable to work or is it just a plaster for a much bigger problem?

The information below shows what you might currently get;

This is regularly that moment where almost everybody says “Really?! Are you sure? Is that it? How are we supposed to survive on that”? (or something similar!)


Statutory Sick Pay (for people who don’t get occupational sick pay from their employer)

Amount per week – £88.45

Up to 28 weeks

Employment Support Allowance: Assessment Rate

Amount per week – £57.90 under the age of 25 & £73.10 aged 25 and over

Up to 13 weeks

Employment Support Allowance: Work-Related Group

Amount per week – £86.95 under the age of 25 & £102.15 aged 25 and over

Up to 52 weeks

Employment Support Allowance: Support Group

Amount per week – £94.10 under the age of 25 & £109.30 aged 25 and over

After the initial 13 week assessment phase, claimants are placed into one of the following groups:

Work-related group – this is for people the Government expect will get better and can return to work in the future.


Support group – this is for people with a serious illness or disability that limits what they can do.

Incidentally, if you are placed into the Work related Group you must also go to regular interviews with an adviser who can help with things like job goals and improving skills. If you are genuinely unable to work and things are difficult this can be an additional strain on your health and for some it’s enough of a reason to put in place something that negates this ever having to happen!

There are, of course, a huge number of benefits available via the Government all of which have their own qualifying criteria, methods of payment, duration of payment, availability of payment and so on. To be honest it’s often a convoluted, perplexing and exhausting system which some say has been designed to be that way.

The simple fact is that you are in their hands and control isn’t yours, whereas arranging your own cover puts you in control and can, if required bypass Government involvement/control completely.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/


So where do you go from here?

First things first, going back to the theme above. The overwhelming majority of people who seek to control their own destiny and financial security when presented with quotations say “Really? That’s less than I thought”

More often than not it would have been even cheaper if they had put in place the same cover last year, the year before, 5 years ago or when their first child was born and so on.

Instead of thinking about whether you can afford it, whether it’s worth it, whether you can get cover or any other question. FIND OUT.

Contact our Mortgage & Protection Adviser, Mark Alefounder to do just that. You can call Mark on 01206 366700 or email him on [email protected].

It’s free and although it won’t save your life, it might just save someone else’s.