The perception of how much life insurance costs is on average 394% above the actual cost, a survey for SunLife has revealed.
Affordability was cited by 48% of those surveyed without life cover as to why they didn't have it, the poll of 1,011 people conducted by Critical Research found.
On average those surveyed thought £100,000 of life cover would cost £50.98 per month, and 47% said they had no idea how much life insurance costs, rising to 58% of 55-65 year olds.
Concern over not having life cover was reported by 26% of those surveyed and 11% said their family would lose all or most of its income if they became critically ill or died.
There was also a minority (8%) of those surveyed who did not know what the financial implications would be if they became critically ill or died.
Among those who had insurance, 39% were certain they had enough cover, 11% knew they were underinsured and 15% didn't know how much cover they had in place.Three-quarters of advisers say protection sales will increase
Dean Lamble, managing director at SunLife said: "Our research shows people are not protecting themselves with life cover because they think it is much more expensive than it is; this misconception needs to be addressed.
"As an industry, we have an important role to play - we need to make life insurance more accessible so that more people realise they can afford it."
He added: "It is worrying that there are many families out there that either have no life cover or insufficient cover in place simply because they are overestimating how much it costs.
"More than a quarter of those who don't have life insurance say they are concerned about the fact they are not covered; we need to help these people get cover they can understand and afford so that, should the worst happen, they know their families are protected."
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