13 December 2017

How protection can save Christmas

5 min read

Lorna Wiltshire
Lorna Wiltshire

Lorna Wiltshire, Corporate PR Manager


Imagine the scene - in the build up to the busiest time of year at Santa Corp. offices, Santa Claus has slipped on the ice and suffered a serious injury.

He is desperate to get back to work, but the orders from Doctor Elf are firm – no work for at least a few months.

The preparations for Christmas were well on their way. The present wish lists collected, the reindeers fed and trained. But was the North Pole ready for this spanner in the works? How can Christmas be saved now such a key member of staff is out of action?

Unfortunately, injuries and illnesses are a part of life. They can come unexpectedly and could have a significant impact on our work, family and wider circle.

Below are a few things that we can all learn from Santa’s unfortunate tumble to ensure we are prepared should the worst happen:

  1. Consider insurance

    UK employees who are too ill to work are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, which is £89.35 per week for up to 28 weeks. However, since some injuries or illnesses can result in a longer period of time away from work it’s important to consider how you’d cover basic living costs and also Statutory Sick Pay is unlikely to cover any unexpected bills or payments.

    Income protection insurance could have helped to reduce unnecessary financial concern during an already stressful time for the Claus family. This type of insurance provides financial cover, in the form of a monthly payment, when someone is unable to work due to injury or ill health. Research from insurer Royal London for their ‘State of the Protection Nation’ found this year that just 4% of adults surveyed have an income protection policy and one in five (20%) have no savings at all to fall back on if they were unable to work.* This means many people would be financially exposed should they be forced to take time off work due to illness or injury.
  2. Consider your dependents

    Santa’s injury means he cannot walk, and so Mrs Claus may have to take time off from looking after the reindeer and supervising the elves to care for her husband. If a family member or close friend has to take time off work to care for you, this will increase the financial pressure on your family. With these knock-on effects, it is even more essential that Santa has plans in place to ensure he and his family are protected and can afford to continue paying the costs of day to day life in the North Pole.

    Research from Royal London among people who have cared for someone with an illness, found that more than half (54%) had to take some time off or reduce their own working hours as a result.** It is important that you consider not only the financial implications of being ill and unable to work, but also how you will manage the everyday tasks you may no longer be able to carry out.
  3. Make plans for your business

    Santa is self-employed and runs his own (non-profit) business. With Santa written off for a few months, the success of the company depends on who can step up to the plate and fill Santa’s boots. New research from Royal London shows that over half of all British SMEs don’t protect their businesses against the loss of a key employee mainly through lack of awareness.1

    Key Person Income Protection covers this situation by providing a monthly income while the key employee is unavailable to work and offers support in the search for a replacement. Santa is unique, and unlike other organisations does not have the luxury of a readymade replacement waiting in the wings. The elves are diligent workers, and toy-making experts, but none have passed their sleigh driving exam and the sight of a chimney fills them with dread. With the proper insurance in place the toy factory would be able to continue and the elves would have support in their search for a (hopefully temporary) replacement.

Jennifer Gilchrist, Insurance Specialist at Royal London said:

The Claus family are normally meticulous planners – every detail of Christmas is planned months in advance and Santa delivers the presents on a strict house-by-house timescale. However, even if you drive a magic sleigh there are always things that can go wrong, and our health is no exception.

Taking the time to think and plan for changes to your health now, whilst not the most festive activity, can ensure that even if disaster does strike you have the right financial cover and support in place.

* State of the Protection Nation, Royal London, 2017 (2,000 nationally representative UK adults aged over 18)

** Taken from a survey of 3,004 UK adults, conducted from 19th to 23rd June 2017.

- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

Lorna Wiltshire, Corporate PR Manager

Notes to editors:

  1. Opinium Research were commissioned by Royal London to run State of the Protection Nation. The research is based on the results of an online survey that took place between 28th October and 1st November 2016. 2,000 nationally representative UK adults (aged 18+) were surveyed. The results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
  2. Royal London commissioned Opinium Research to undertake an online survey into critical illness survey of 3,004 UK adults, conducted from 19th to 23rd June 2017. The results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
  3. Income protection payments can start from day one but not all policies provide this cover.
  4. If you are employed you may be entitled to additional sickness benefits from your employer in addition to Statutory Sick Pay.

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.