By Helen Tansley, Armstrong Watson, Independent Financial Adviser

WHAT do we mean by protection? In simple terms, protection means insurance. It can be insurance against death, critical illness and ailments that prevent you from working.

Who does this apply to? Potentially everyone; regardless of whether you are employed, self employed or a business owner.

A key starting point is to analyse the financial implications of your death, suffering a critical illness or being unable to work due to illness or injury. Then establishing the cover, if any, you already have in place and whether it is fit for purpose. If you are employed you may have a ‘death in service’ life insurance arrangement and possibly even some income replacement provided by your employer. Neither of these arrangements though is mandatory for employers to provide for their employees.

The key financial triggers for protection are;

1. Debt - how would you repay your mortgage, loan, credit cards or overdraft if you were unable to work? How would your family repay them on your death?

2. Financial dependants – typically children, but it can also be a spouse/partner or elderly relative. How would they cope without your income?

3. Future plans – University for children, travel, retirement – how would you fund these aspirations if illness or death reduces or ceases your ability to earn and save?

The simple answer to all of the above is that an insurance policy can provide for each scenario.

• Life Insurance – pays a specified lump sum on the death of the insured during the term of the policy.

• Critical Illness Insurance - pays a lump sum on the diagnosis of a specified critical illness during the term of the policy.

• Income Replacement – pays a percentage of an individual’s earnings whilst they are unable to work.

Understanding who should own the policy, the lives to be insured, over what term and if a trust is appropriate are all unique to each set of personal circumstances. This is the benefit of undertaking regular financial reviews with an adviser.

Protection is not a one-off arrangement as the circumstances surrounding you, your family and/or your business will also change – so your protection needs will also change over time.

Most people insure their home, cars, pets and holidays, but how would you pay for any of these without your income? Don’t put off reviewing your protection.

Protection can provide peace of mind at the most difficult of times, so if it’s time to review your arrangements please contact me on 01132 211332 or email