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Accident, Sickness and Unemployment inurance

Protect your income with ASU insurance

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What is accident, sickness and unemployment cover?

Accident, sickness, and unemployment insurance (ASU) provides financial support to individuals who are unable to work due to illness or injury or are unexpectedly made redundant.

It’s a type of income protection insurance policy that pays you a tax-free proportion of your lost salary every month to help you cover living expenses until you’re back on your feet. If you fall ill, get hurt, or lose your job through no fault of your own, you and your outgoings will be covered.

asu illustration

How does accident, sickness, and unemployment insurance work?

  • Set your deferred period

    After leaving work, you will need to wait out a deferred period before you begin receiving ASU benefits. Deferred periods are usually set to match any sick pay you may have and setting longer deferred periods can save you money on a policy

  • Protect up to 70% of your earnings

    A typical ASU insurance policy can cover 50% to 70% of your monthly income, although this may be reduced for annual earnings exceeding a certain amount. Benefits will either be based on your salary or your gross annual earnings

  • Short term or long term claim duration

    Depending on your policy, you can choose short-term or long-term cover. Short term policies have a limit of one or two years cover for a single claim. Long term policies can continue paying monthly benefits for a single claim until you retire

  • Your cover continues

    Your cover doesn't end when you stop claiming benefits. While limits may apply to each claim, you can continue to make claims on your policy until the end of your policy's term. There is no limit to how many times you can claim on your policy.

Types of accident and sickness insurance

You can choose either or short or long-term protection when taking out ASU insurance. Each type has their own benefits, with short-term usually being more affordable, so it's worthwhile to consider which type is right for you:

  • Short-term

    Short-term policies can pay out up to 70% of your income on a monthly basis for a limited period – usually up to two years. While claim periods are limited, you can claim multiple times on your policy as long as you continue paying your premiums

  • Long-term

    Long-term policies have no limit to your claim period, so you can continue receiving monthly benefits from your policy until you reach retirement age. However, long-term policies won't usually include cover for unemployment

What does accident, sickness, and unemployment insurance cover?

There are three different types of ASU cover for you to choose from. These types each have different definitions of incapacity – meaning when you are not capable of working. At MoneySuperMarket, we offer own occupation accident and sickness insurance.

  • Own occupation cover

    With this cover type, you can claim on your policy if an injury or illness prevents you from working in your own occupation or if you are forcibly made redundant and are unable to return to your occupation

  • Suited occupation

    This cover type will pay out if you are unable to work in your specific occupation or one that is suitable for you and your qualifications. What is defined as a suitable occupation is determined by your insurer

  • Any occupation

    Any occupation cover will only pay out if you are unable to work in any occupation. This means that you must be completely incapable of working to claim on your policy

What is not covered by accident, sickness, and unemployment cover?

The main terms of an accident, sickness, and unemployment insurance policy are that it will cover you for most cases where you are unable to work through no fault of our own. However, there are some exclusions that may prevent you from making a claim:

  • Cross

    Health conditions that don't affect your income

    Your policy will only cover you for health conditions that prevent you from working or, in some cases, hinder your everyday life

  • Cross

    Industrial action

    Unemployment cover will not cover you for redundancy as a result of industrial action

  • Cross

    No unemployment cover to start

    Policies with unemployment cover don't typically allow you to claim for unemployment benefits during the first few months or the first year after taking out your policy

  • Cross

    Pre-existing/ chronic conditions

    If you have any pre-existing or chronic conditions, your insurance provider may exclude them from your cover or otherwise increase the cost of your insurance policy to include them in your cover

  • Cross

    Deferred period

    Your deferred period is the length of time you agreed to wait after leaving work before making a claim. During this time you will not be able to claim any benefits

  • Cross

    Misuse of drugs/ alcohol

    If the health condition that prevents you from working is the result of misusing drugs or alcohol, your insurer will not cover you for this condition

  • Cross

    Self-inflicted injury

    Injuries which prevent you from working that are self inflicted or the result of reckless behaviour are not usually covered by an income protection policy

  • Cross

    Normal pregnancy and childbirth

    Your ASU insurance policy will not provide you with benefits if a normal pregnancy or childbirth is the reason for leaving employment

Why compare income protection with MoneySuperMarket?

At MoneySuperMarket, our mission is to help easily find the great ASU cover at the right price:

  • Quick and simple

    MoneySuperMarket can help you quickly compare policies and prices from multiple insurers, making it easy to find a policy that fits your needs and budget.

  • Save money

    By comparing multiple policies together in one place you can easily find the right level of income protection cover for you at our cheapest premium.

  • Peace of mind

    You can purchase cover today providing financial security and peace of mind in case you are unable to work due to injury or illness.

Am I eligible for ASU cover?

There are some requirements that you will need to meet to qualify for an accident, sickness, and unemployment insurance policy. These are:

  • Tick

    You must be over 18 years of age

  • Tick

    You must be a UK resident with legal right to work in the UK

  • Tick

    You must be in full or part time employment

  • Tick

    You must be working more than 15 hours a week

  • Tick

    You must have worked for at least the past 12 months

  • Tick

    You must be registered with a UK doctor

Can I get sickness insurance if I'm self employed?

Yes, you can still get ASU insurance if you are self employed, however your policy may be slightly different than standard. Self-employed professionals may not qualify for unemployment cover under an ASU policy, so they may need to take out an accident and sickness only insurance policy. Monthly benefits for self-employed professionals may be determined by their gross annual earnings rather than their monthly salary.

professional looking at a laptop

Other types of financial protection insurance

If you are looking for insurance to cover important outgoings, there are other insurance products to choose from that may be cheaper than ASU insurance. However, these policies won't cover much more than loan or mortgage repayments, so they can't help you cover everyday expenses while you're not earning.

These two other types of financial protection insurance are:

  • Payment protection insurance (PPI)

    Payment protection insurance will cover any loan repayments for a limited time if you're unable to work due to injury or illness. Benefits for this insurance type go directly to you lender so cannot be used to cover day-to-day expenses

  • Mortgage Payment Protection (MPPI)

    Mortgage PPI can cover part or all of your mortgage repayments while you're unable to work. Depending on your policy, claim durations can be limited to one to two years or they can last until the date your mortgage is paid off.

Sam Meadows

Our expert says


Income protection insurance can offer valuable support for you and your dependents if you are unable to work for extended periods. Unlike critical illness insurance, you can claim multiple times on an ASU insurance policy and providers usually offer a range of other benefits to support you, such as hospital stay benefits and benefits for carers. At MoneySuperMarket, we can help you find great deals on a policy in just a few clicks.

- Sam Meadows, Insurance Expert

Compare sickness protection quotes with MoneySuperMarket

  • Tell us about yourself

    Give a few details about the type of cover you need, some personal details, and employment.

  • We’ll search for tailored policies

    We’ll put together a list of policies matched to you, so you can easily compare price and features

  • Get covered

    Once you've found the policy that’s right for you, buy online or over the phone, with free impartial advice available.

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.

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. 

Accident and sickness insurance can be a valuable protection to support you and your loved ones if you're not earning, In particular, it can be particularly worthwhile for self-employed professionals and business owners who may not have any kind of sick pay to fall back on.

The cost of an accident and sickness insurance policy depends on a number of factors. These include:

  • Your salary

  • Your age

  • Your occupation

  • Your deferred period

  • Your level of cover

  • Pre-existing conditions

The cost of your policy can also change over time depending on the type of premiums. Fixed premiums are typically more expensive when you first purchase your policy but they won't change over time. On the other hand, reviewable or age-linked premiums may be cheaper at first but will increase the longer you have your policy.

To find a good deal on a long-lasting policy, it's important that you take all of these factors into consideration while shopping.

Yes, limits will apply to your ASU benefits as well as the length of each claim.

Accident, sickness, and unemployment insurance benefits usually cover a maximum of about 50 to 70% of your gross earning, although there are some providers that may offer more.

Providers may also place additional limits to your cover if your earnings exceeds a certain amount. For example, they may cover 70% of your earnings up to £70,000 per year and then 50% of earnings over £70,000 per year.

Depending on your policy, there may also be a limit to pay-out duration.

As soon as you know that you are going to be leaving work for an extended period, you should contact your provider to let them know. They will send you a claim form for you to fill out where you provide details about your health problem or your redundancy. They may also ask you to provide evidence of your latest salary.

If your claim is approved and you have reached the end of your deferred period without returning to work, your provider will begin to pay out your monthly benefits. These will be sent directly to you for you to use as you need.

You work hard to earn your money, and we don’t think you should waste a penny of it paying over the odds on your household bills. That’s why at MoneySuperMarket, we’re on a mission to save Britain money.

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You might be wondering if we work with all the companies in the market, or if our commercial relationships with our partners might make us feature one company above another. We’ve got nothing to hide, and we want to give you clear answers when it comes to questions like these, so we’ve pulled together everything you need to know on this page.