One in four have missed a mortgage payment due to accident or illness

One in four (26%) existing or aspiring homeowners have missed a mortgage payment as a result of accident or illness, according to new findings from MetLife UK.

The research found that one in seven (14%) respondents said this has happened more than once.

The findings, based on a sample of 2,000 homeowners, or those currently purchasing a property, also showed that 34% of respondents have had to take four weeks or more off work due to accident or illness.

As a result, almost half (47%) said they needed financial support to help them meet their mortgage repayments.

MetLife also revealed that three in five (61%) took four weeks or more off work to care for themselves, while 19% cared for their partner and the same number (19%) to care for a family member. Another 17% took time off to care for their children.

“Despite a challenging economic outlook, 2020 saw many people turn their dream of homeownership into a reality,” commented MetLife head of individual protection, Rich Horner.

“The stamp duty holiday extension announced in the budget, coupled with the ‘government guarantee’ on mortgages, means the number of homeowners is set to rise even higher.

“But, as ‘Generation Rent’ becomes ‘Generation Buy’, there is an increased need for financial protection and advisers have an invaluable role to play in providing impartial advice and identifying protection gaps.”

MetLife’s research also found that almost half (47%) of the respondents with a mortgage, currently have no mortgage financial protection in place. This comes as 43% said they were concerned about making their monthly mortgage repayments.

One in seven (14%) admitted to regretting not having any mortgage protection in place, but two in five (40%) respondents also revealed they do not have savings to fall back on should they need to cover mortgage payments if they were unable to work due to accident or illness.

“Most of us don’t want to think about falling ill or having an accident, but the reality is it can happen to anyone,” Horner added.

“Some may think they’ll never need it, but ultimately not having something in place – be it a protection policy or savings – to fall back on, can add to what is already a stressful time should you fall ill or have an accident leaving you unable to work. And at a time when individuals need to recuperate, this worry and stress could add to the healing time.”

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