The vast scale of self-employed people who believe less income protection claims are paid out than actually are has been found by research from British Friendly.
Just 2% of respondents believed that income protection claims were paid out more than 90% of the time and 45% believed that the main reasons claims were declined was insurers deliberately trying not to pay.
Cost was another reason for not having a policy, cited by 30% of the 502 self-employed workers surveyed.
The majority (58%) said their business would have to stop trading immediately if they were unable to work for the next 12 months for health reasons.
When asked if they knew someone unable to work for three months or more, 35% responded that they did.
The most important (31%) thing self-employed people wanted to know about a policy when looking to buy it is knowing there is a good chance of a claim being paid.
Mark Myers, CEO of British Friendly, said: We need to recognise that because certainty of claims is most important to self-employed clients, providers and advisers need to prioritise how we can effectively communicate to them that insurers pay a very high percentage of Income Protection claims.
"Insurers pay over 90% of claims on average and British Friendly paid over 96% of all claims in 2014, yet the public are not aware of this fact.
"It highlights the need to continue promoting the message that consumers are vulnerable and that those people with insurance policies are better protected and do have their claims paid.
"The consumer really does value that information."