Almost a third (31%) of UK adults have experienced temporary or permanent leave from work due to ill health, a cancer diagnosis or even a death within the family, research from Aviva shows. More than three quarters (77%) of these have seen their finances suffer, equivalent to 12.3 million people.
Aviva’s Protecting Our Families report shows the reality of the financial fall-out caused by unexpected illness, with a particularly damaging effect on families with young children. The research shows more than a quarter (27%) of parents with dependent children have suffered a health crisis, with nearly all (91%) of these saying their finances were negatively affected.
UK adults who have suffered unexpected health events have noticeably poorer finances. Aviva’s data shows the average monthly income of someone who has experienced this is 24% lower than those who have not (£1,909 vs. £2,518). They also typically have 40% less in savings and investments (£2,991 vs. £5,011). In addition, they have 47% more in average debt (£9,692 vs. £6,573), possibly suggesting many who experience a health crisis are forced to turn to borrowing to cope.
UK adults who have experienced unexpected health events or a death in the family have had to resort to a number of measures to get by. Almost two in five (38%) had to apply for benefits or other support from the Government, while over one in five (22%) had to dip into their savings. In addition, 13% cited that they stopped saving for their retirement. One in six (16%) also had to sell their personal possessions.
Worryingly, 15% had to either downsize, move back in with family, start renting or even became homeless – demonstrating the life changing impact an unexpected loss of income due to ill health can cause.