Public sector workers are under-protected compared to their private sector peers as research has revealed that just two in five (42%) breadwinners employed in health and education have a life insurance policy.
The research from MoneySuperMarket found that 61% of breadwinners in the major white collar private sector industries, professional and financial services have life insurance coverage.
Overall, those working in manufacturing are most likely to have life insurance with 69% of breadwinners in the sector having a policy.
Meanwhile over half (58%) of construction workers also have protection insurance.
The research also found that one in four British breadwinners with dependents have no life insurance.
That means almost 8.5 million Brits run the risk of their families facing dire financial circumstances in the event of their death, MoneySuperMarket said.
With the average life insurance pay-out over £31,000, this equates to a £263 billion black hole in life insurance provision for the dependents of those breadwinners who do not have a policy in place
The research also found that 12 million of the nation's breadwinners are women - of which two in five (38%) have life insurance, compared to just under half (45%) of males.
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Nearly a fifth have no savings at all