The vast majority of foreigners coming to the UK are young and healthy people. Usually, we choose the UK to earn money, to gain experience, to study or simply because we are curious about the world.
Regardless of what the purpose of our stay in the UK is, one thing connects us all – to live and function normally, we have to work. Without money, we will not be able to pay for basic financial obligations such as housing, food, transport, hobbies, etc.
The awareness of our compatriots regarding applicable law, social benefits and insurance is often insufficient and sometimes the wake-up call comes too late.
What can we count on in case of an accident or illness – do you have your own emergency plan?
A large part of our compatriots in the UK are self-employed. As we know, running your business has its advantages, such as the possibility of deducting various types of expenses, flexible working hours, etc. On the other hand, we have a list of duties and disadvantages of this type of employment, including the need to do an annual tax self-assessment, to pay our own taxes and National Insurance Contribution, unpaid holidays, etc.
What about sick pay? – The principle is quite simple, there is virtually none for the self-employed. They are not even entitled to the basic Statutory Sick Pay, as it is only paid to people employed under a contract of employment.
So, let’s analyse what we can potentially apply for from the government in case of illness or accident, which will make it impossible for us to work, and thus our income will stop.
A self-employed person can only apply for Employment Support Allowance, with rates for the first 13 weeks currently at £ 57.90 per week for people under 25 and £ 73.10 per week for people over 25 years of age. Without a doubt, this amount will not bring anyone to their knees, and it can even be said that it is virtually impossible to pay for basic financial obligations, bills and costs of living with such money. In addition, the application for this allowance is 20 pages long! So it turns out that, as the well-known saying goes: ‘If you can you count, count on yourself. ‘- without our own adequate protection, we can count on very little.
A huge part of the self-employed work in the construction, transport, cleaning, childcare and elderly care industries, so they are primarily involved in manual work. Thus, the risk that something can happen to us is enormous. We are talking here above all about the various types of accidents, injuries and diseases that will leave us without income for several weeks, months or even years.
As we know, prevention is better than the cure, it is worth protecting your income and health while we are healthy and everything is fine with us. For this purpose, you can take advantage of various types of private insurance – for the self-employed person it is best to take private insurance into consideration first (Income Protection/Private Sick Pay). It is the most comprehensive form of protecting our health and finances. We are guaranteed monthly compensation when we cannot work due to illness, accident, injury or any other damage to health, which means we are left without any income.
Private Sick Pay insurance (Income Protection) has the widest range of what it covers in the market, because it pays out for virtually any type of inability to work (there is no list of specific diseases or accidents which you have to ‘hit’ to qualify for claim). Such a policy pays us a monthly (or weekly) benefit as a substitute income – even up to retirement! For example, a 30-year-old man who is still 38 years away from retirement and has a serious accident that makes it impossible for him to return to work, with a monthly benefit of £ 1,000, will receive £ 12,000 a year and a total of £ 456,000 throughout the time up to his retirement. The important thing is that practically all professions are accepted, not only those with lower risk, such as an administrator in an office or an accountant, but also those riskier, such as a construction worker or a truck driver. The benefit may cover inability to work from day one, therefore we are certain that our finances will suffer as little as possible.
It is also worth considering insurance against serious illness and permanent disability. These types of policies can also be extended with additional benefits, such as the accidental option of bone fractures, hospital stays, etc.
Which company to choose?
Statistically, claim payments in various companies differ, that is why it is important to analyse the appropriate option with an experienced financial advisor, who will explain the available options and help you choose an insurance company that has high percentage of paid claims as well as a proper policy for you.
The Polish insurance broker in the UK – the company Prestige Financial Advisers (Mojapolisa24), shows the data from one of the market leaders here – the insurer The Exeter, which over the last 10 years, has paid an average of 95% of all claims.
When choosing an offer and the insurer, it is worth using the services of a licensed insurance broker in the UK, who offers policies from various insurance companies and will help you choose the most suitable solution for you.