Income protection insurance (sometimes known as permanent health insurance) is a long-term insurance policy designed to help you if you can’t work because you’re ill or injured.
It ensures you continue to receive a regular income until you retire or are able to return to work.
- It replaces part of your income – if you can’t work because you become ill or disabled.
- It pays out until you can start working again – or until you retire, die or the end of the policy term – whichever is sooner.
- There’s often a waiting period before the payments start – you generally set payments to start after your sick pay ends, or after any other insurance stops covering you. The longer you wait, the lower the monthly premiums.
- It covers most illnesses that leave you unable to work – either in the short or long term (depending on the type of policy and its definition of incapacity).
- You can claim as many times as you need to – while the policy lasts.
It’s not the same as critical illness insurance, which pays out a one-off lump sum if you have a specific serious illness.
It’s not the same as short-term income protection, which also pays out a monthly sum related to your income, but only for a limited period of time (normally between two and five years) and can cover fewer illnesses or situations.