The need for income protection

Sean Cox and his brother went Anfield in April 2018 to watch Liverpool’s Champions League semi final 1st leg match against Roma. It was a match Liverpool would win 5-2 after being 5-0 up. A result that had Liverpool supporters around the world celebrating. Except Sean Cox wasn’t celebrating. On his way to the ground, he was the victim of a random attack by some Roma fans outside of the ground. While Liverpool fans were celebrating, he was in hospital fighting for his life, remaining in a coma for 3 months.

Last month, Martina Cox was on The Late Late Show while Sean and his three children joined Ryan Tubridy by video link. Sean is back home and slowly getting better but it has taken years for him to get back into his own home and their lives have been changed forever and Sean certainly won’t work again.

I am a massive Liverpool supporter like Sean and we are of a similar age, so what happened him really struck home for me.

Unforeseen events

This is why as a financial advisor that I continually beat the drum to clients about the need for income protection. We aren’t planning to protect you just against the known illnesses. It’s the unknowns and unlikely things like getting assaulted outside a football match. Or you can get in a car accident or get knocked down and be unable to work again. That’s the thing with income protection, it will pay out on any accident, illness or injury that prevents you from working. It doesn’t have to be a medical illness, it can be almost anything.

Isn’t is expensive?

Of the main risk benefits of life cover, critical illness and income protection, it is the most expensive. Why? Because it is the most likely to happen and it has the longest potential payout. A 30 year claim starting at €30,000 a year, increasing by 3% each year will result in a total payout of £1,427,000.

Tax relief is available on the cost of your contributions. Other ways that you can reduce the cost is to extend the deferred period (when the policy will pay out), shorten the retirement age (when the policy will stop), remove indexation (lose inflation protection) and reduce the amount of cover.

Paying the bills

Someone once told me “The worse thing than being dead, is being almost dead”. At least if you are dead, the mortgage is paid off and after you are buried, you don’t cost anyone a penny. Having a life changing event like Sean did doesn’t make all the bills go away. Critical illness plans won’t pay out, so the mortgage is still outstanding, there is all the time off his wife has taken and of course, the loss of Sean’s income to the family household. State disability is €10,500 a massive drop in income and not enough for most.

It is catastrophe planning and most people who have income protection will never claim on it. But isn’t is comforting to know that you are financially secure if you do.

If you have any questions, drop me an email at

If you would like to contribute to the Sean Cox Trust, you can do so here


Steven Barrett

30 November 2020