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Income Protection Insurance: Martin Lewis' opinions

Martin Lewis' financial advice has helped millions of UK consumers, but he has surprisingly little to say about income protection insurance

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 26 September 2023

10 min read

Income protection insurance: Martin Lewis’ opinions

Income protection insurance can be quite confusing even if you have bought it before. It’s understandable to want to do some research and find out what other people think before buying a policy like this. Here we are explaining everything that Martin Lewis has to say about income protection insurance.

Most people in the UK will know who Martin Lewis is as he is one of the best-known financial journalists in the country. He’s often asked about his views on financial products like mortgages and insurance and is seen as an expert in this area.

It’s best to remember that while Martin Lewis is viewed as an expert, he isn’t always right. it’s important to do your own research and make your own mind up about whether income protection insurance is right for you.

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60-Second Summary – Martin Lewis Income Protection Insurance Opinions

Having a look at Martin Lewis’ views on a subject can be a helpful starting point when you’re thinking about buying a new insurance policy. These are some of the most important points to think about and remember when buying income protection insurance.

  • Never avoid mentioning pre-existing conditions (if you have them) as your provider might refuse to pay out
  • The type of job you have will impact how much you pay and whether you need income protection
  • Don’t bother trying to have loads of income protection policies – you’re only allowed to claim on one policy at a time
  • You might need to provide proof of income so insurers don’t end up paying you more than you normally make
  • Income protection insurance will only cover up to 80% of your normal pre-tax income at most

Who is Martin Lewis?

Millions of people across the UK look to Martin Lewis for advice about financial products and problems they’re having. It’s easy to understand why as you often see Martin Lewis’ face and name attached to various campaigns and articles surrounding financial products.

Martin Lewis is a household name in the UK due to his frequent appearances on radio shows and TV shows like Good Morning Britain, This Morning and Channel 4 News. He’s often interviewed about various topics including tax, finances mortgages and insurance.

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Why should I trust Martin Lewis’ opinion?

This is a fair question to ask. Martin Lewis’ advice tends to be taken as fact, and it’s important to know why this is.

Martin Lewis CBE founded the UK’s biggest and most well-known financial information website MoneySavingExpert.com back in 2003. He’s also championed several campaigns with MSE to improve consumer rights in last 20 years.

He fought for over five years to remove unfair bank charges in the UK, to this day fights against unfair pricing for energy bills and appealed directly to the UK Prime Minister (currently Rishi Sunak) against increases in student loan costs.

What makes Martin Lewis an expert in income protection insurance?

This might be controversial to say but Martin Lewis isn’t an expert in income protection insurance. While he’s often asked his opinion on this type of product, he isn’t an income protection insurance provider or broker and doesn’t have first-hand experience of selling this product.

He does a lot of research and he does have a team of experts surrounding him which means his advice does come from an informed place. However, Martin Lewis’ opinion is just that – an opinion.

What does Martin Lewis say about income protection?

Martin Lewis actually doesn’t say that much about income protection or at least he doesn’t say much on MoneySavingExpert.com.

This is a bit disappointing really, as people turn to him and MoneySavingExpert.com for guidance and income protection is a very common policy to buy in the UK.

With so much financial uncertainty in the UK at the moment, policies like income protection insurance can provide some peace of mind. These policies will pay out a monthly income if you cannot work due to illness or injury.

Does Martin Lewis say anything about other ways to protect your income?

There’s not a lot of information about income protection insurance on MoneySavingExpert.com but there are other guides that might be helpful. There’s a whole page dedicated to sick pay and useful resources that weirdly doesn’t mention anything around income protection insurance.

Here at MPO we personally find this a bit confusing. Income protection is one of the main ways to protect yourself financially if you can’t work due to sickness. It doesn’t make any sense to us that Martin Lewis and his team wouldn’t mention income protection at all on a page like this. Support like Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) can be helpful for short periods of time but can’t be fully relied on.

Income protection is designed as an additional financial safety net for you and your family. Sadly, sick pay in the UK is quite limited and you might find yourself with much less than your usual income. Income protection will cover you for around 60% of your normal pre-tax earnings.

Income protection insurance Martin Lewis: 5 need-to-knows

We’ve done some digging into the things that Martin Lewis has said previously about income protection insurance and as always done our own research too. Here are the 5 main points that you should know about income protection insurance.

1. Income protection will never cover 100% of your income

This just isn’t how these policies work. An insurance provider is never going to pay out 100% of your usual income. Even the ones that pay out the most normally cap your payouts around 80% of your usual pre tax income.

This is the provider’s way of discouraging people from claiming unnecessarily. This makes sense as of course it would be tempting to continue claiming if you are earning just as much out of work as you are in work.

2. The policy you need and how much you pay will be based on your job role

It may feel a bit unfair or if you’ve got a riskier job you’re going to have to pay more for income protection insurance. This is because someone who works in a dangerous environment is more likely to get ill or injured and claim.

Income protection is often most useful for people with these types of jobs. People in an office job will usually be able to go back to work more quickly after being off sick. If you have a more physical job role, chances are you’ll need longer to recover.

You may be happy to hear that certain providers will offer discounts for specific job roles for example NHS workers. If you are not sure whether you’ll be able to get a discount from your insurance provider there’s no harm in asking. The worst they can do is say no.

3. Be prepared to prove how much money you earn

insurance providers don’t want to be misled and tricked into paying you more money than what you actually earn. this means it’s quite common for you to be asked to provide proof of how much you normally earn.

This can be as simple as just sending over some wage slips or proof of accounts if you’re self-employed. Be aware that you will get asked for this information when you claim not just when you first apply, so they’ve got the most recent information.

4. You can’t have loads of income protection policies

There’s no point trying to cheat the system and have four or five policies to claim on all at once. You can’t claim on multiple income protection policies even if they’re with different providers.

Doing this could be seen as fraud and the money is not worth all the trouble you would get into. If you think you wouldn’t get caught think again. Providers often check for multiple payments from different insurers to make sure that you’re not scamming the system.

5. Don’t hide the fact that you have medical conditions

This is a really important one. Insurance providers don’t like being lied to or misled in the same way  as anyone else wouldn’t like it. If they don’t know about health issues because you haven’t told them, they might refuse to pay out.

Do I need income protection insurance Martin Lewis?

If you’re going solely off what Martin Lewis has said about income protection insurance, there isn’t very much advice there. he doesn’t really mention income protection that we just discussed policies such as life insurance and critical illness insurance.

It is pretty hard to make your mind up about income protection insurance if you’re only going off Martin Lewis’ opinion.

Income protection insurance is useful but it’s not for everyone. You should think hard about whether you can afford to pay for income protection insurance. Also consider how you would cope financially if you couldn’t work due to your health.

Income protection insurance:

  • Replaces your usual monthly income (usually around 60% of your pre-tax earnings)
  • Can be affordable (if you know where to look or get help from an expert)
  • Supports you financially while you recover from illness or injury
  • Provides higher levels of financial support compared to schemes such as statutory sick pay

Of course, you can complain about an income protection insurance policy or any other type of insurance policy. Sometimes insurance providers make mistakes or they don’t live up to their side of things. If this happens you always have the right to complain.

Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert.com offera lot of guidance on complaining about financial products because of their strong focus on consumer rights. You’ve got a few options if you want to complain about your insurance provider, but Martin Lewis would suggest talking to them directly first.

Insurers don’t want a bad reputation so we’ll normally work hard to resolve complaints as quickly as they can. you should be able to find contact details for complaints on your insurance provider’s website.

If you’re not happy with how they’ve handled your complaint, there’s still other options available to you. The Financial Ombudsman Service FOS is designed for exactly this purpose. Their sole responsibility is to help resolve issues between financial services businesses and their customers.

Financial Ombudsman Service contact details

Here are the details if you want to get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Tel. 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

Tel. (outside the UK) – 0207 964 0500

Frequently asked questions about income protection insurance

Here’s some of the main questions that we get asked about income protection insurance.

What is income protection insurance?

Income protection insurance is a policy that pays out a monthly income if you can’t work because of your health.

You will need to be signed off work by a doctor or GP for at least four weeks before you can claim an income protection insurance. These policies will cover around 60% (sometimes as high as 80%) of your normal pre tax income.

These policies can be like a lifeline for people who would otherwise massively struggle financially if they couldn’t work.

Is there more than one type of income protection insurance?

Yes, there are a few types of income protection insurance to choose from. Your options are:

  1. Short term income protection insurance which normally pays out for 12 to 24 months
  2. Long term income protection insurance which can pay out for years at a time even up to retirement age (normally more expensive)
  3. Personal accident insurance which is slightly different to standard income protection. these policies will only pay out for accidental injuries and don’t cover sickness
  4. Guaranteed sick pay is a cheaper option but normally only pays out for six months.

How do I know how much income protection insurance to buy?

This is a good question as you can choose the level of cover when you apply your policy. Our main tips would be to think about:

  • How much you can afford to spend on your policy
  • How much money you would need to cover all your normal monthly bills
  • What is the minimum amount of money you would need for your payouts?
  • How long would you want your policy to pay out for?

What’s the easiest way to save money on income protection insurance?

Income protection insurance can be expensive, but there are some things you can do to reduce the cost to make things more affordable

There’s a few ways that you can save money on your income protection policy and they’re pretty simple.

  1. Choose a longer deferred period (This is the amount of time between claiming and receiving your first payment)
  2. Consider choosing an age rated policy (usually cheaper)
  3. Choose a short term income protection policy (if you’re not worried about long term absences)
  4. Take out less cover – it’s as easy as that. If you don’t buy as much cover you won’t need to pay as much in most cases.
  5. Talk to an income protection insurance expert. they will know where to look for the lowest prices and which insurers are offering discounts.
  6. By a non advised policy – if you understand what you’re looking for. skipping getting any advice can save you money but income protection can be complicated. We’d only suggest doing this if you’re really certain of what you want and that you’re choosing the right option.

Martin Lewis would always suggest shopping around before you make any decisions about an insurance policy. you don’t want to agree to anything without having all the facts and a bit of research can see view from any nasty surprises further down the line.

Your main options for comparing income protection insurance are:

  1. Do it yourself – you can do your own research if you’re happy to. income protection shorts can be complicated though so you might find this a lot of hassle or overly time consuming.
  2. Use a price comparison website – a website like Compare the Market or MoneySupermarket this can be useful if price is your m focus but they’re not always as good at comparing policy features and not all insurers will be on comparison sites.
  3. Get expert advice – talk to an income protection expert who will be able to compare policies for you and explain all the features properly.

The best way to get a low cost income protection policy would be to speak to a specialist. an independent insurance broker with the right knowledge will know exactly where to look for the policy you need a fair price.

Brokers are also heavily regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority which means you have protection in place if anything goes wrong. If you have any issues at all, you can speak to the Financial Ombudsman Service who might rule for you to receive compensation.

More Martin Lewis advice

Martin Lewis talks about many other financial products and insurance policies. We have put together a handy guide explaining more about Martin Lewis’ thoughts on life insurance and if it’s worth buying to protect your family.

You can find out more on this page about what Martin Lewis thinks about life insurance and what the different types of cover will do to protect your family, home and mortgage.

Martin Lewis Life Insurance Review 2023

Martin Lewis Travel Insurance Pre Existing Medical Conditions

More income protection insurance guides

Do I need income protection insurance?

How much is income protection insurance?

Critical illness cover vs income protection

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