Loan protection, or ASU insurance as it is also known, can be taken out by those who have monthly loan repayments to make and who are in full time employment and worry that they might find themselves out of work due to suffering from an accident, prolonged sickness or through such as unemployment.
Providing you have made sure that loan protection would be suitable for your needs then it would begin to payout after a pre-defined period of time of the policyholder being out of work continually which can be between 31 days and up to 90 days with some providers.
The majority of policies are backdated to day one and would then continue to give you a tax free income for up to 12 months and with some loan protection policies, for up to 24 months. You do have to make sure that a policy would be suitable for your circumstances as the cover isn’t suitable for everyone but providing that it is then it could give you peace of mind and help to keep you debt free. Some of the most common exclusions include only being in part time work, retired or suffering from an illness at the time of taking out the policy.
Loan protection has in the past caused confusion and while some changes for the better have risen, many more changes still need making. The majority of policies that are sold alongside the loan from the high street lender have been sold without the consumer being fully aware of what they are buying and don’t realise a policy has exclusions within it or the total cost of the cover when added onto the loan.
In 2005 the Financial Services Authority began investigating the sector after a super complaint was made to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)_. Following this they handed out fines to several high street names before the OFT’s referral of the sector to the Competition Commission. They are reviewing the loan protection and payment protection insurance industry and are expected to reach their conclusion in February 2009.
If you want the protection and peace of mind that loan protection can bring then make sure you understand the product and what it is capable of doing and stick with standalone providers of loan protection and payment protection insurance for the cover.