Homeowners are most likely to take out protection when they fall ill, research has shown.

The poll by Metlife also found one in five mortgage borrowers (22 per cent) said no circumstance would make them consider purchasing a protection product.

According to the research, not believing protection will be needed (28 per cent), the cost of the policy (25 per cent) and not being able to afford it (22 per cent) were the main reasons preventing people from financially protecting themselves.

Rich Horner, head of individual protection at MetLife, said: “After such an uncertain year, it’s made the realisation of falling ill or a change in employment a reality for so many.”

Horner added: “It’s quite frequently the case that it’s once a person has experienced a change in circumstance that they consider protection, but by that point it could be too late.

“And with one in seven regretting not having financial protection in place, it’s vital that current and aspiring homeowners are fully aware of what products are out there.”

Naomi Greatorex, director at Heath Protection Solutions, commented: “It is unsurprising that once taken ill people think about the insurance that they would like to have in place to support themselves.

“Advisers can really help their clients visualise the impact of having no insurance on them or their family. I have clients who say insurance is too expensive, and they don’t need it – the issue is sometimes when people realise the importance of protection it can be too late.”

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