Throughout our lives we must meet important financial commitments, whether it is paying a mortgage, supporting school fees or building wealth for your family.
However, life can throw curveballs at you, some more serious than others, which may affect your ability to meet these commitments or even manage day-to-day living costs.
That is why everyone needs to consider protection policies that pay out in the event of unemployment, sickness or even death.
Despite this, many people never seek out policies to protect themselves and their loved ones, so what are the barriers that get in their way?
We are living through unprecedented times with costs seemingly spiralling out of control.
Many people are concerned about their everyday spending and protection insurance is one area where they may not feel they have the money to invest or where they may try to cut back.
The irony of this barrier is that should the worst happen the cost will seem minimal if it protects your income, home and other assets, while delivering a more secure financial future for your family.
Time is perhaps as valuable an asset as money to most.
Many of us feel as though we already have too little time to do the things we enjoy in life, let alone the essential things, such as seeking out a protection policy.
While it can take time to set up life, sickness or income insurance, once a policy is set up you don’t need to do much more, unless you choose to switch in the future.
With direct debit payments you don’t even need to spend time online or at the bank making sure you pay your premium each month, should you choose to spread the cost.
You need to be able to trust the policy that you take out, and there seems to be a growing mistrust of insurers and their ability to pay out quickly should the worst happen.
This has probably been tainted somewhat by particular brands or products, but there has been a growing sense of mistrust among consumers about insurance products.
The reality is, however, that most people only hear about the horror stories, rather than the hundreds and thousands of successful claims paid each year, which taints the industry rather unfairly.
Many people do not think that they need a protection policy because their job is secure, the family can help to support them, or they think the money would be better invested elsewhere.
These are assumptions made by many of us, but if the last few years have proved anything it is that things can change quickly.
Those in seemingly secure employment have faced redundancy, close family members may themselves have seen their wealth decline and investments in other areas have grown more slowly due to historically low interest rates.
The younger a person is, the less likely they are to feel the need to buy a protection policy, even though premiums may be cheaper.
As we get older and our lives change and responsibilities increase the appeal of protection grows, but so do premiums.
It is easy for people to find themselves in a catch 22 situation, where they wish they had taken action sooner, despite less ‘need’ to take out protection.