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Last Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Protecting your income
It is important to think about how you would manage financially if you were unable to work - because you were ill or made redundant, for example.



HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED?

Try to get some idea of how much money you might need.

A good place to start is by working out where all your money comes from and what you spend it on - and thinking about how this might change if you couldn't work.

Using an online budget calculator might help you to do this.

You might want to think about whether there is anything specific that you want to make sure is covered - such as paying your mortgage, for example.

Don't worry if your figures aren't 100% accurate - broad estimates are ok.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE ALREADY?

Check what you have already. As well as any special insurance policies, you might also want to take any savings into account if you could use them to help tide you over.

Check what would be available through work.

But don't expect too much - sick pay may be less than you earn normally and might only be available for a limited period.

Check out whether you would be entitled to any state benefits. You can do this via the Directgov website.

But, if you can, it's probably best not to rely on these alone - they may be a lot less than you are earning now and many are only available for a limited time or after a qualifying period.

EXTRA PLANS?

If you can afford it, think about how to make up any shortfall in your current plans.

If you can, think about building up an emergency fund that could tide you over a few months without work.

You could consider taking out some insurance to provide an income or a lump sum - but remember to look carefully at any restrictions on how much it would pay or when you can claim.

And check out whether you can get any additional cover through work - this may be cheaper than arranging it yourself.

You could consider taking out an insurance policy specifically to pay your mortgage if you can't work - but remember to check what it would pay out and whether there are any restrictions on when you can claim.

Or you could think about switching to a flexible mortgage that lets you reduce your monthly payments for a while.

REVIEWING YOUR PLANS

Remember to review your plans from time to time, especially if your circumstances change.

GETTING HELP

If you would like some help sorting out your plans, you could think about talking to an adviser.


Useful checklists and information


Handy tools


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Contact numbers and internet links

Financial Services Authority - Consumer Information
Information from the UK's financial services watchdog
Consumer helpline: 0845 606 1234 (call rates may vary)

Directgov
Links to all government information and services

Association of British Insurers

Council of Mortgage Lenders

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


This checklist was developed jointly by the BBC and the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK watchdog for the financial services industry. It does not provide financial or other professional advice. If you want advice specifically tailored to your personal circumstances you should consult an adviser.






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