Families have more cover in place for their property and possessions than they do to protect themselves and their families, statistics from Nationwide have shown.
Research conducted in January this year by the building society showed under half (47%) of parents do not have life insurance cover, with mothers having less cover than fathers.
Furthermore, 76% of parents do not have any critical illness cover, with less than a quarter (22%) of mothers holding such cover.
In comparison, three quarters of parents have car and/or home contents insurance cover, over three fifths (62%) have buildings insurance and almost one in five (18%) have mobile phone insurance.
The situation is similar when covering against unemployment, with only 17% holding income protection cover.
Almost two in five respondents (38%) have no personal financial protection at all, yet, Nationwide pointed out, there are more than 293,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year in the UK, and more than a third of us will develop some form of cancer during our lifetimes.
Guy Simmonds, senior manager for protection and investments at Nationwide, commented: "In everyday lives, objects and possessions such as mobile phones and cars are far from indispensable, but to your family you're irreplaceable.
"With this in mind, these figures show how unprepared some parents are to take care of their families if the unthinkable happens."
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