UK professionals could find themselves struggling to meet the cost of Christmas debt repayments in the event of having to take sick leave, an insurer has warned.
PG Mutual highlighted research which found three-quarters of workers have suffered ill health over Christmas, while the average family in the UK was due to spend around £1,134.00 on Christmas in 2013.
Mike Perry, chief executive at PG Mutual said: "While many people will manage their debt sensibly and make regular repayments, unfortunately an unexpected illness or an accident can throw even the most organised person's finances into chaos."
Meanwhile 7 million people planned to take out loans to cover extra expenses many of these just to cover basic costs such as heating and food.
Taking out extra credit has become an increasingly common way to cover the cost of Christmas, but with 4 million people still paying off the cost of Christmas 2012 in November 2013.
Many people are being left with long-term debt - debt that they would struggle to cover should they lose their income unexpectedly due to an illness or injury that forced them onto state sickness pay, which currently stands at just £86.70 per week, the insurer said.
PG Mutual said it has "never been more important "for those who rely on a regular monthly income to take preventative measures to ensure that they can keep up their financial repayments.
Perry added: "By insuring your income, you are making sure that even if you did have to take sick leave, and this significantly reduces your pay, you will still receive a regular monthly payment from your policy - which could be the difference between paying off your debt, and it spiralling out of control.
"We are always surprised at the number of people who don't have income protection insurance in place - we would advise people who are juggling a lot of financial obligations after the festive period to look into taking out cover.
"Once you've fallen ill or suffered an accident, it's too late to get insured, but you'll still need to meet your repayments somehow - something most people would struggle with on state sickness pay."