Income protection insurance

You never know what's around the corner, protect yourself and your family with income protection insurance.

What is income protection insurance?

Income protection insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to provide a replacement income if you can't work due to illness or injury.

Why you might need income protection insurance

Most employers offer sick pay to their staff, but this typically only lasts for around six months. After this period, you are only entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

If you're self-employed or a company director - and you're not entitled to statutory sick pay - your business may only be able to continue if you can work.

An income protection insurance policy provides financial support to cover monthly outgoings when you cannot.

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How does income protection insurance work?

Income protection insurance provides a regular income to cover your living expenses while you're unable to work. Typically, you'll be able to get cover for up to 50-70% of lost earnings.

Here's how it works:



Compare income protection policies via our website. Choose the level and length of cover you require and the deferred period for the policy.

Start your policy

Start paying monthly premiums to your insurance provider and if you fall ill or injure yourself and cannot, work make a claim.

Make a claim

If you make a successful claim and your deferred period is complete, you'll receive a tax-free monthly benefit from your insurer.

Get the money

Your monthly payments will stop when you're well enough to return to work or your policy term ends, whichever is the soonest.

What our customers say

Benefits of income protection insurance

Income protection insurance brings several benefits, perhaps the most valuable being reassurance.

Meet your monthly outgoings

Use your income protection insurance to ensure your living costs (mortgage, bills, childcare costs) still get paid when you're not earning.

Protect your family's lifestyle

When your income pays for the treats like meals out, hobbies and holidays, your income protection insurance policy helps maintain your standard of living.

Cover what your employer doesn't

Your employer may continue paying your salary for the first few months of your inability to work. Income protection insurance supports you when that set period ends.

Because Statutory Sick Pay isn't enough

Government benefits support you if you cannot work, but the monthly benefit amount is not enough to live on for most.

Self-employed essentials

If you're self-employed or a company director, you're not eligible for state benefits like SSP. Income insurance could be your lifeline if you're unable to work.

Reduce risk

If you work in an industry where the risk of a severe accident is higher, such as construction or manufacturing, payment protection insurance covers you should the worst happen.

What does income protection insurance cover?

Unlike critical illness cover, which restricts you to a specific list of medical conditions, income protection insurance covers almost any illness or injury that stops you from working.

Successful income protection claims pay you a percentage of your monthly income until you are well enough to return to work or your policy term ends.

When you purchase income protection cover, you can choose for it to last a set number of years or until your anticipated retirement age.

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How your policy's definition of incapacity affects your cover

Your income protection insurance policy will define what counts as an inability to work and how long your policy will continue to pay out.

There are three ways insurers define being unable to work. What you choose will affect your cover level and the cost of your policy.

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Own occupation

Own occupation income protection policies cover your income until you are well enough to return to the role you held when you made your claim. It's the best level of cover as your insurer won't make you take a lesser or completely different role before you end your cover.

Suited occupation

A suited occupation policy will cover you until you can return to a role that is identical or similarly suited to your skills. This may mean that your insurance provider will expect you to take a lesser role than the one you previously held.

Any occupation

If you hold any occupation policy, your insurance provider will end your cover if you are well enough to work. It can be something other than your previous job or anything you've done before. It's the least favourable level of income protection insurance.

From start to finish dealing with Will has been very easy. He was very efficient and answered all of my questions.
Colin P

What's typically excluded?

Exclusions will vary between providers and policies. However, typically the following won't be covered:

You must be a permanent UK resident to take out income protection insurance.Some insurers will require you to be registered with a GP for two years before they allow you to take out income protection cover.

Every income protection policy has a waiting period in the beginning. During this waiting period, you may not make a claim.

  • Pre-existing conditions - If you have a condition that may make you seriously ill in the future, you must declare it
  • Illnesses as a result of not following medical advice
  • Injury or illness as a result of cosmetic surgery
  • Self-inflicted injuries
  • Misuse of alcohol and drugs
  • Injury as a result of criminal acts
  • War

How long do you have to wait for the policy to pay out?

The 'deferred period' is the waiting time between you claiming your income protection insurance and the policy paying out.

You can set the deferred period when you take out your income protection cover. The shorter the deferred period you choose, the higher your monthly premiums.

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How much does income protection insurance cost?

The price of your income protection insurance depends on several factors, including your:

  • Age - As you get older, you're more likely to experience illness, so your sickness cover will be more expensive
  • Medical history - If you have pre-existing conditions, your insurer may charge you higher premiums
  • Smoking - If you smoke, you're a higher risk to your insurer, and you'll be charged as such
  • Occupation - The riskier your job, the higher your premiums will be. For example, insurers will charge builders more than accountants
  • Income - The higher your income, or the higher the percentage of your income you want to cover, the higher your premiums will be
Compare the UK's leading income protection insurance providers and get the best policy for the best price.

How is income protection different from critical illness insurance?

Critical illness insurance pays you a tax-free lump sum if you contract an illness from a specific list on the policy. Depending on your level of cover, you may need more than the lump sum to support you for long.

Income protection can be used as a short-term fix, but it's often taken out to protect you from a long-term inability to work. You can even choose for it to cover you until retirement age, giving you security should you become unable to work.

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What type of income protection insurance do you need?

There are several different types of income protection cover, each with its benefits and disadvantages. Compare income protection insurance types and see what's best for you.

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Short-term income protection

Short-term IP covers if you cannot work for a short period due to sickness or injury. For example, if you broke your leg. Most policies last from 6 months to 2 years.


  • Short-term income protection is typically more affordable than long-term cover
  • Your insurance payouts can help bridge the gap if you temporarily can't work
  • If you're a generally healthy person, this type of cover is ideal


  • Shorter policies may not cover you for the whole of your illness if it's serious
  • If you stay healthy, you may never need to use your insurance
  • Waiting periods may discourage you from claiming on your policy

Long-term income protection

Long-term income protection covers you if you become severely ill and cannot work. For example, if you become permanently disabled.


  • Your personal and family finances are protected for an extended period
  • Some long-term policies last until your anticipated retirement date
  • Your monthly payment is higher than SSP


  • Long-term income cover is more expensive than short-term
  • Your medical history may make long-term cover prohibitively expensive
  • If you remain healthy, you may never need to claim on your policy

You can also purchase a family income benefit life insurance policy that gives your beneficiaries a regular monthly income until the end of the term if you die, instead of a lump sum. This is another type of decreasing insurance.

Index-linked income protection

This type of income protection considers that your salary should rise with inflation during your career. When you take out an index-linked policy, how much cover you have grows each year, aligned with inflation.


  • The value of your cover rises every year alongside inflation
  • It's easier to maintain your current standard of living
  • In times of high inflation, index linking your income protection safeguards your policy


  • Your monthly premiums rise every year alongside the value of your cover
  • Your premiums rise by a higher percentage than inflation, to safeguard your insurer
  • If you remain healthy, you may never need to claim on your policy

Stepped benefit income protection

This type of cover considers your employer's sick pay policy and how long it lasts. If you claim, your policy will pay out a lower amount while your employer still pays you a higher percentage of your salary. If your employer reduces the percentage after a specific period, your income protection pay rises.


  • Your income cover is more efficient
  • You can choose the level of cover
  • If your employer's benefits are only for a short period, you're still covered


  • If you return to work before your employer's payouts end, you don't get the full benefit of the policy
  • This flexibility may be reflected in higher premiums
  • Income protection payments and your total income are more unpredictable

How much cover do you need?

As with all insurance, the higher the value of your cover, the higher your premiums.

Most insurers allow you to insure 50% of your gross salary.Think about how much money you need every month to pay your mortgage and household bills while maintaining your standard of living.

Don't underestimate the level of cover you need to lower your premiums.

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Depending on your policy, your income cover may come with a wide range of extra benefits that could help you throughout your insurance term. These could include:

Back-to-work payments

Often when you return to work, you may have to earn a different salary than you were on before. For example, you may need more time to work the same number of days. In these cases, your insurance will continue to pay out to make up for the shortfall.

Life insurance

Some income policies come with added life insurance. The amount of life cover added will depend on your policy, but it could be as valuable as 1-2 years of premiums.

Premium waiver

Some insurers will stop your premiums when you start receiving monthly payouts from your policy.

Deferral period waiver

If you make a claim, receive a monthly benefit, and then return to work, but you get ill within the next 12 months, some insurers will allow you to claim straight away, without another deferral period.

Hospital payments

If you go into hospital for treatment, some income policies will pay out a proportion of your cover to guarantee your income while you recover. In some cases, this can be within your deferral period.
Tobias Britton
Your financial security is incredibly important - speak to us, and we can help protect it.

Frequently asked questions