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What is mortgage protection insurance?

It’s a type of insurance that would pay your mortgage if you were out of work. This could cover you if you fell ill, got injured, or lost your job, depending on what kind of mortgage protection insurance policy you choose.

It’s sometimes called mortgage insurance or mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI).

Is mortgage protection worth it?

It’s likely that your mortgage is your most expensive outgoing each month. If you stopped receiving an income due to being out of work, could you afford to carry on paying your mortgage? If the answer is no, you should think about getting a mortgage protection insurance policy.

It’s worth thinking about because if you can’t pay your mortgage, you could risk losing your term.

Having mortgage insurance means you’d get a monthly income for a set amount of time if you couldn’t work. For example, your MPPI policy might give you two years’ worth of monthly payments. Other policies offer six months of payments, but most policies pay out for around a year.

Most insurers let you choose a payout that covers your monthly mortgage repayments exactly. Some mortgage insurance providers also let you add cover for your bills. For example, this might be an extra 25% on top of your mortgage repayments.

There are also some mortgage protection insurance policies that pay out based on the size of your salary. For example, you could get mortgage protection cover for 50% of your salary.

What mortgage insurance cover can you choose?

When you apply for MPPI, you can choose from three types of mortgage protection insurance with differing levels of protection. These are:

  • Accident and sickness. Covers you if you develop a long-term illness or get seriously injured

  • Unemployment. Covers you if you were made redundant

  • Accident, sickness and unemployment. Covers you if you’re made redundant, and also covers you if you develop a long-term illness or get seriously injured.

The third option is the most comprehensive type, and will give you the most cover. However, this does mean it’s likely to be the most expensive type of mortgage protection.

The size of your payout is based on the type of cover you choose.

You can get an income paid to you for a set term. Most mortgage protection insurance policies let you choose a payout term of up to two years.

If you’d like to receive payouts for longer than two years, you could get quotes for a standard income protection policy instead.

How much does MPPI cost?

The price of MPPI is affected by several factors. These can include:

  • Your age. The younger you are, the cheaper it is.

  • Your health, including any pre-existing medical conditions. If you’re in poor health, your policy will cost more

  • What kind of job you do. If your job carries high risks, your policy will be more expensive

  • The mortgage protection insurance payout you choose. The more your monthly mortgage repayments are, the more your policy will cost.

  • What you want protection against. Cover against unemployment, sickness and injury will be more expensive

  • The waiting period on the policy. The longer your waiting period, the cheaper your policy will be. There’s more on this below.

When you apply for a mortgage protection insurance policy, make sure you give correct information about yourself. If you don’t, your mortgage insurance company might not pay out when you need to make a claim.

Fill out our online quote form to find the mortgage protection insurance policy that’s right for you. Here’s how to decide if you need income protection.

What if I’ve got a pre-existing condition?

You might struggle to get mortgage protection insurance if you’ve had health problems in the last year. Some insurers simply won’t offer cover for pre-existing medical conditions. Others might have tight criteria and charge more if you suffer with a pre-existing condition.

Sometimes insurers don’t let you claim if you can’t work for reasons related to a pre-existing medical condition. Others might say that if that condition comes back within a year or two of taking out the policy, you can’t claim.

Check the mortgage protection policy carefully and look at all your options before you go ahead.

Can I claim on my mortgage protection insurance if I’m off due to mental health issues?

You can usually claim if you’re off for mental health reasons, but you might need to prove to the insurer that your mental health means you can’t work.

Can I get mortgage protection insurance if I’m self-employed?

Yes. Mortgage insurance can offer useful protection to self-employed people. That’s because if you’re self-employed you won’t receive any benefits such as sick pay or redundancy pay.

If you’re self-employed, it’s a good idea to think about mortgage protection so you could continue paying your mortgage if you fell ill and couldn’t work.

But not all policies cover self-employed people. Make sure you check the policy carefully so you can be sure you’re covered.

Can I claim on my mortgage protection policy from the minute I can’t work?

Generally you’ll need to be off work for an agreed number of days before you can start claiming. This is called the waiting period. Depending on your policy, it could be 30-180 days.

A longer waiting period will make your policy cheaper. Perhaps the company you work for gives you sick pay. If this is the case, you could rely on your employee benefits for a short time and choose a cheaper policy with a longer waiting period.

You should also be aware that when you first take out a mortgage protection insurance policy, you’re likely to have an exclusion period. This is when there’s a gap of several months before you’re allowed to claim. This gap could be 30-180 days depending on your mortgage insurance provider.

It’s likely that unemployment cover will have a longer exclusion period than accident or sickness cover. This is to stop people who are at risk of redundancy from taking out policies.

What kind of jobs are considered high risk when you take out MPPI?

Most MPPI providers categorise different jobs, according to how risky they see them.

For example, someone who works within an office and doesn’t do much business mileage would be considered very low risk. The risk increases if you’re someone who covers a lot of business miles, or a skilled manual worker. Heavy manual workers, construction workers and mechanics are among the highest risk jobs.

Are there any alternatives to mortgage insurance?

Yes. Mortgage protection insurance is one way to protect your income, but there are others. These include:

Life insurance. This pays out to your loved ones if you die during the policy. You can set the level of cover and also choose whether it pays a lump sum or monthly payments.

Critical illness insurance. This covers you against health conditions. You can choose what illnesses to cover, but it’s usually common conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and some kinds of cancer. The policy pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with one of the health conditions you’re covered for.

Income protection. This insurance pays you an income if you can’t work due to illness or injury. Unlike with mortgage insurance, it’s not specifically linked to your mortgage. So you could use your monthly payments for whatever you like.

Employee benefits. Some employers offer excellent sickness and redundancy benefits. These might leave you feeling so secure that you don’t need mortgage protection.

Government benefits. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, you might be able to get benefits to help you out. For example, you might be able to claim jobseeker’s allowance.

Don’t forget that most mortgages come with an option to take a three-month mortgage payment holiday if you need to. But mortgage protection insurance means the mortgage would be paid for you.

Mortgage protection insurance FAQs

Last updated: 14 October, 2021

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