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Over 2 million cohabiting families without life insurance risking their family's financial future

Swindon, September 22, 2017

  • 73% of those living as married do not have a life insurance policy
  • Cohabiting families in London, the West Midlands and the East of England are the least likely of all regions in the country to have life insurance
  • Whereas those in Wales, the North East and Scotland are the most likely of all regions to have life insurance
More than 2.4 million cohabiting families across the UK – the fastest growing family type in the country - do not have life insurance, potentially leaving their relatives open to financial problems once they pass away, according to new analysis by UK life insurance company, Zurich. 

Analysis of research of more than 2,000 UK adults from YouGov found that 73% of cohabiting families – couples living as married – do not have a life insurance policy, compared to 56% of married couples. As cohabiting families do not yet enjoy the same legal rights as married couples, this is leaving thousands of families at risk should the worst happen and their partner dies. 

Cohabiting families have been the fastest growing household type over the last decade: the latest figures from ONS show that the number has more than doubled from 1.5 million to 3.3 million since 1996. Furthermore, according to the latest ONS divorce and marriage statistics, the number of couples getting married has decreased by more than 6% since 2012, potentially due to the rise in couples choosing to cohabit. 

At a regional level, cohabiting families in London, the West Midlands and the East of England are the least likely of all regions in the country to have life insurance. 87% of those living as married in London, 79% in the West Midlands and the same number in the East of England are not prepared for the worst, simply by not having a life insurance policy in place. 

On the other hand, cohabiting families in Wales, the North East and Scotland are the most likely of all regions to have life insurance. Despite this, 68% of those living as married in Wales, the same number in the North East and 52% in Scotland still do not have life insurance cover. Encouragingly the region with the most cohabiting families – the South East – also has one of the highest proportion of those having a life insurance policy in place. 

Peter Hamilton, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Zurich, said: “The nuclear family is no longer the norm. Marriage may be on the cards for some, but many of us are now choosing cohabitation over tying the knot and this may well be the case for the rest of our lives. Whether we marry or live together, the needs of loved ones left behind shouldn't be overlooked. Putting the right plans in place, if anything, is more important for cohabitees, where the law for those without a will is different to that for married couples. Life insurance can ensure the right money can go to the right person at the right time.” 

Further research from Zurich found that women insure themselves for up to 30% less than men. The average level protection that men insurance themselves for stands at more than £210,000, whereas women tend to insure themselves for just under £150,000. 

 

-ENDS- 

  
Further information 

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2039 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th-21st July 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  • ONS Data  - each region multiplied by the percentage of people who do not have life insurance