Tax breaks could give 'protection incentive' say advisers

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More than 70% believe tax breaks could provide an incentive for take up of financial protection, according to a survey published today.

The survey, conducted by Zurich, looks at the barriers to people taking out adequate protection, and explores adviser views on measures that could help raise awareness of its importance.

The most common reason advisers give for their customers not buying protection is that they believe they already have some form of cover in place via their employer (65%). 

Other key reasons for failing to buy protection include an ‘it won't happen to me attitude' (59%); a reluctance to consider unpleasant life events such as unemployment, illness or death (57%); cost (52%); and the belief that the state will pay (39%).

The majority of advisers also support running an awareness-raising campaign to highlight the realities of having little or no protection in place.

Just over half believe this should be government-led (52%), while 46% think that an organisation such as the Money Advice Service would be better placed to take the lead.

Head of retail propositions, Zurich UK Life, Peter Hamilton, said: "We are collectively underinsured across the UK against the risks that could have a real impact on our lives and those of our families.

"We insure our phones, our pets our cars and our TVs but too often not our ability to continue to provide financial support for those that matter to us.

"We believe that just as there are tax breaks for saving in a pension or an ISA, the government could introduce more tax advantages to people to encourage them to take responsibility for their financial security."

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