What is income protection?

Income protection is an insurance policy there to cover you in case you lose your income for any medical reason. It pays out a proportion of your salary – usually 50-70% for nurses – if you need to claim on your policy.

The idea of this kind of policy is to protect you beyond any alternatives you might have if you lost your income – like sick pay, savings, or relying on someone else. It means that if you ever face a long period of ill health or injury, or multiple episodes of ill health, you have the peace of mind that you’ll always have an income.

Why do nurses need income protection?

Like anyone else, nurses and other medical professionals could be unwell at some point during their working lives. As it’s a high-pressured job, it may be that you face more periods of ill health than the average person. This is why it’s important to have a plan in place to protect your earnings.

It could be even more important if you have financial dependents. In other words: people who rely on your income for their wellbeing. If this is the case, income protection is a way of making sure you could keep providing for your financial dependents, even if you were off sick for a long time.

What income protection should nurses buy?

It’s a good idea to speak to an adviser if you’re a medical professional looking to protect your earnings. This is because your requirements could be different to other earners, due to the nature of your job and your sick pay entitlement.

It could be important, for example, to make sure you buy a policy with ‘own occupation’ definition, to make sure the policy would pay out when you need it to – rather than you being expected to move into a different role, if your health allowed it.

Finally, an adviser would be able to point you towards the most suitable  products for you. Particularly because some insurers offer products specifically designed for nurses, doctors, surgeons, and dentists, etc. This includes NHS sick pay mirroring, for example, as well as sabbatical cover, and income protection without HIV exclusions (so you won’t be penalised for an occupational hazard).

Need income protection suitable for nurses? Let's start with your age:
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  • Income protection covers a proportion of your income if you can’t work for health reasons
  • Nurses and medical professionals may face periods of ill health or injury throughout their working life – income protection protects them against their lost earnings
  • Nurses may have unique requirements when buying income protection due to the nature of their job and their existing sick pay entitlement
  • Some insurers offer specialist products for nurses – like NHS sick pay mirroring, sabbatical cover, and income protection without needle-stick or HIV exclusions
  • Speaking to an adviser is best if you’re a nurse or other medical professional looking to insure your income

This post has been written by Anorak's income protection experts as guidance. Anorak also provides regulated advice online and over the phone.