Almost being dragged into the sea while racing with Skandia at Cowes Week - I was hauling in the spinnaker at the time - should have made me think I ought to have some sort of financial protection.
But it didn’t.
It’s only since I became a protection reporter that I discovered I can buy insurance to give me some kind of financial help if I were to have an accident, fall ill and be unemployed.
I’d heard of life cover before but always assumed it was something my parents would take out because they have overheads to worry about.
I know my peers are as confused and as unaware as I used to be about what this means, and I think part of the problem might be the way messages are conveyed.
It’s hard to understand what a ‘protection gap of £2.4 trillion’ really means. What gap? Isn’t protection something you’re taught about during personal and social education at school? Has the UK lost £2.4trn trying to protect itself?
Warnings about cancer affecting one in three people are easier to comprehend, but understanding ‘it could happen to me’ and actually wanting to spend money on something that doesn’t give immediate tangible benefits are very different.
As well as the UK becoming a ‘spend now, think later’ society, it has also become more cynical and I’m not sure people buy into messages about products giving ‘peace of mind’.
Perhaps the government could start educating people at an early age about financial protection and what it actually means.
If people can’t afford to visit an IFA they might never hear about the various options available and if they don’t know about protection they might never think they need to visit an IFA in the first place.
Personally, I’m probably waiting until I win the lottery or get a pay rise before I take some sort of cover out.
Until then, food and drink seem more important!
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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