Many UK households are under-protected in the event of serious illness, research from Scottish Widows shows.

A survey of 5,022 UK adults found that more than a fifth (21%) of households wouldn't survive financially if they unexpectedly lost their main income.

Only 9% of people have a critical illness policy to protect their household should they or their partner be unable to work due to long-term illness, while the number of individuals taking out life insurance fell 7 percentage points compared with 2017.

More than two-fifths (43%) say that if faced with this situation, they would solely rely on their savings.

However, for 35% of people, those savings would last no more than 3 months, and for 54% they would last no longer than a year.

Gary Burchett, protection director at Scottish Widows, said:

"On a societal level, we increasingly think in the short term, caring more about tangible things in our day-to-day lives.

"On a more fundamental level, we're programmed not to think about the worst happening.

"Together, these are dangerous inclinations as people aren't thinking about insuring their health or life until it's too late."

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