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Category: 2017 News



Protection for the Self-Employed

Thursday, January 19, 2017 10:50:00 AM

93.1% of all 'Critical Illness' claims paid out in 2015.  

Average payout of £66,200. (Source: Association of British Insurers, April 2016 release)

What would happen if you suffered a serious illness, such as a heart attack, cancer or stroke and survived - and were then, understandably, unable to swiftly return to work?

Critical Illness Cover is designed to pay out a lump sum, against a wide range of serious illnesses (if the condition was specified in your policy), thereby easing the immediate financial concerns.

However, recent research from Scottish Widows showed that only 9% of the general population have this cover in place.  Of course, if you are employed, you may have the buffer of a period of disability cover as an employee benefit.  After that, you would have to fall back on state benefits of limited value.  

You are even more vulnerable if you are one of the 4.8m self-employed workers, where even less, at just 7%, have this cover in place.  And to compound the problem, the same research also showed that a sizeable 62% of self-employed worker households are solely reliant on one wage earner's income, compared with 52% of the overall population. (Source: Scottish Widows, October 2016)

Also, don't think that this should only be a concern if you are much older, as the average age of critical illness claimants across many insurers is around the late 40s!

So, it makes sense to have a chat with us to consider if a Critical Illness plan could meet your needs.  If you do want to proceed, we can then discuss the level of cover you require, should you need to claim.  Perhaps, for example, you want to have enough to pay off the mortgage, or alternatively you may decide to opt for less cover (meaning a lower premium too), but still have enough to see you through the initial period as you recover.

Do get in touch if you would like to find out more.

As with all insurance policies, terms, conditions and exclusions will apply.

Gov the Builder!

Thursday, January 19, 2017 10:41:00 AM

With £7.2bn of investment announced in the Autumn Statement, the government now expects to double, in real terms, annual capital spending on housing over the course of this Parliament. (Source: Autumn Statement, November 2016)

This should be good news for those who are keen to get onto the property ladder, or indeed those that are looking to move.  Much is written about the first-time buyer, but there is also another key group - the second steppers - who are already in their own mortgaged property, but have possibly outgrown it; yet struggle to find (or maybe fund) a suitable new home.

Housebuilding targets
So, any increased commitment from the government to stimulate the housebuilding sector, and make planning easier to both navigate and implement, will therefore be welcomed.  In fact, according to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government: "We'll have to build at least 220,000 homes a year, for the next decade, just to keep up with population growth".

In recent years, we've fallen well short, but there has been a marked improvement in the last year or so with almost 190,000 new homes built in 2015 - an 11% year on year increase - albeit it's less than the figure required to simply stand still. (Source: Department for Communities and Local Government, November 2016)

Where we can help
Despite the efforts to build more homes, and the benefits for many regarding the change in Stamp Duty; key issues still remain around potential borrowers being able to build up a decent deposit, and meet the current stringent rules on the evidencing of income and affordability.  

Whilst we can't wave a magic wand, we can try to help you along the right path.  As part of that process, we'd discuss the various options that may be on the table for those largely setting out, or at the early stages of the property owning journey, such as Help-to-Buy, Shared Ownership, support from the "Bank of Mum & Dad", or perhaps cover relevant deals, readily available to all.

Of course, with numerous schemes and thousands of mortgage deals out there, you may think it's all too confusing, and might also be worried that you could damage your credit record if you apply to a wide range of lenders.  So, let us do the running for you.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


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