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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 June, 2004, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
Britons 'facing life cover worry'
Many of us are too busy to take out life cover, Abbey says
Millions of families could face future financial difficulties because their main household earner does not have life insurance, a survey claims.

Most people believe that a policy which supports their family if they die is the most important cover they can take out, mortgage bank Abbey said.

But only 54% of those surveyed actually owned such a policy, the firm said.

Just under a third said they could not afford life insurance, while 37% said it was the last thing on their mind.

Live for the day

The most common reason given for not having life insurance was that people were too busy, Abbey said.

Some 39% of those questioned said they thought they should take out a policy but had not got round to doing it.

Meanwhile, 26% said they would rather live for the moment than worry about what would happen if they died.

Abbey estimated that as many as three million families could be affected by the main household earner's decision not to take out life insurance.

Home insurance

Separately, Abbey said that 78% of people had no critical illness cover, which pays out a lump sum if the holder suffers from illnesses such as cancer or a heart attack.

Abbey said the insurance policy most people were likely to have was home insurance, with 74% saying they had cover.

Angus Porter, customer director at Abbey, said: "It is encouraging to see that family protection is considered so important, but sadly only half of us have any life cover and even less have critical illness cover."

He said: "If the worst were to happen, people could potentially be leaving their families with a financial nightmare."

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