Embrace the example of Saint Valentine and protect your loved ones
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to let your loved ones know just how much they mean to you, but how many of us are aware of the story behind this patron saint of lovers? It’s about family responsibilities – something most parents are acutely aware of!
Saint Valentine was a Roman priest who performed marriages against the wishes of an anti-church and anti-marriage emperor Claudius II, who believed soldiers could fight better if they had no family responsibilities.
In 269AD Valentine was sentenced to death for his actions and while in prison he befriended a blind girl whom he prayed with and allegedly restored her sight. His last words were in a note to her, signed ‘from your Valentine’.
We all like to think we follow St Valentine’s example and embrace family responsibilities, but we have found very few of us have plans in place to protect ourselves and our dependents against financial hardship should something happen (a view confirmed by Royal London research* that found 74% of people have no life cover, 96% no critical illness and 96% no income protection).
In recognition that busy parents may not have the time or inclination to find out more about safeguarding their family’s financial wellbeing we have put together a handy list of what's available:
Life cover - Simply work out how much you’d like your dependents to receive, taking into account outgoings, debts and potential future costs, and then decide how long you’d like it to run for. Level term fixed-period cover pays a set amount while whole-of-life cover lasts as long as you do.
Critical illness - This pays a tax-free lump sum upon the diagnosis of around 30 critical illnesses and seven core conditions and if you’re permanently disabled due to injury or illness.
Private medical insurance - This pays the cost of private treatment for conditions likely to respond to surgery and hospital care. Some policies offer specialist therapies and complementary medicines.
Long-term income protection - This provides a monthly income if you’re unable to work due to disability, injury or illness until you recover or retire.
State support - How many of us put this issue to the back of our minds, thinking the State will support us if we need help? Employers are obliged to pay Statutory Sick Pay of £88.45 for 28 weeks and if we’re sick for longer than this or disabled, the Employment Support Allowance currently pays £102 - £110 per week.
Do you need a hero?
All is not doom and gloom however, we have online tools to make the process easy. There’s a life cover calculator so you can see exactly how much cover you need and a website showing you the top three quotes for your circumstances. There’s also a free and quick financial health check so you can see where you’re at financially and if you need extra support, Lemonade Heroes can help you get your finances on track. Even Saint Valentine would be impressed!