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Accident, sickness and unemployment protection

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What is accident, sickness and unemployment cover?

There’s a lot that can take you by surprise in life, including bumps in the road: accidents do happen, people can fall ill, and redundancy is a risk. If any of this happens to you, it will affect how you earn your living.

That’s where accident, sickness and unemployment (ASU) protection comes in. It’s a form of income protection that pays you a tax-free proportion of your lost salary every month for 12 or 24 months to help you get back on your feet.

It's very simple: you pay a modest premium each month, and if you fall ill, get hurt or lose your job through no fault of your own, you’ll be covered – and you can spend the money on whatever you want.

asu illustration

What does ASU protect you from?

  • Tick


    When you lose your job through no fault of your own

  • Tick


    When you fall ill and are too sick to work

  • Tick


    When you are injured and unable to work

  • Cross

    Job loss

    When you are fired from your position

  • Cross

    Voluntary job loss

    When you quit your job on your own

  • Cross

    Pre-existing conditions

    When you fall ill with a pre-diagnosed condition

Types of income protection

There are three main types of income protection insurance to choose from:

  • Payment protection insurance

    PPI sees your insurer make up part or all of the repayments on your outstanding loans, normally for up to two years

  • Mortgage payment protection insurance

    MPPI is designed to make sure your mortgage is covered if you can't work, usually for around 12 months

  • Accident, sickness and unemployment

    ASU isn’t tied to a particular debt – you receive up to 50% of your normal salary each month for a year or so

ASU stands for accident, sickness and unemployment. It is a short-term insurance product which people take out in case unforeseen circumstances prevent them from working for a period, either due to injury, illness or redundancy. 

ASU is not tied to a particular debt or mortgage; instead it pays you a portion of your previous salary each month, which you can use for anything you like. 

ASU can be used to cover anything you like, including repayments on a mortgage or loan. So if you lose your job, you know you can keep up on your mortgage and keep your household going.

Yes, ASU covers you if you lose your job – provided it’s through no fault of your own. If you’re fired for something bad you’ve done, or if you leave the job without another one lined up, your policy most likely won’t pay out.

ASU is designed to cover involuntary redundancy – when you lose your job without warning. It won’t pay out if you take voluntary redundancy, and it doesn’t work if you are fired for misconduct.

ASU policies are available for people who are self-employed. You need to specify your employment status with your insurer, and the terms may be a little different to regular ASU, but self-employed ASU policies do cover you in the event you can’t work due to illness or injury.

Most ASU policies are short-term; they tend to pay out for 12 months – or 24 months in some circumstances. After this period, if you’re still too ill to work, the government should hopefully pick up the slack.

You can use your ASU payouts for anything you like, but there are specific income protection policies which are designed to cover your mortgage if you lose your job through no fault of your own. 

There are several things that aren't covered by an ASU policy. They include the following:

  • Losing your job immediately after you buy: Most policies have a waiting period to prevent fraudulent claims. So if you buy a policy knowing you're about to lose your job, you will find it hard to claim

  • If you've not been in your job long enough: You might find it hard to buy ASU if you've just started a new job

  • Various medical conditions: ASU policies exclude medical conditions you already know about, and they often don't let people claim if they're off work for stress or back pain

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