One in four (26%) existing homeowners have previously had an accident or illness, leaving them in financial difficulty leading to a missed mortgage payment, according to new research from MetLife UK.
The research, which examines consumer views of the housing market, along with experience of purchasing property, revealed that one in seven (14%) say this has happened more than once. In addition, a third (34%) of respondents have had to take four weeks or more off work due to accident or illness. As a result of this, almost half (47%) said they needed financial support to help them meet their mortgage repayments.
Three in five (61%) took four weeks or more off work to care for themselves, while 19% cared for their partner and the same number (19%) to care for a family member. 17% took time off to care for their children.
The research also found that almost half (47%) of respondents, with a mortgage, currently have no mortgage financial protection in place – a policy that covers mortgage repayments in the event of the policyholder being unable to work due to illness or an accident.
Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, said: “Most of us don’t want to think about falling ill or having an accident, but the reality is it can happen to anyone. Some may think they’ll never need it, but ultimately not having something in place – be it a protection policy or savings – to fall back on, can add to what is already a stressful time should you fall ill or have an accident leaving you unable to work.”