How family income benefit can provide an affordable protection solution

Published  20 January 2020
   5 min read

We’re all familiar with one of the key barriers to people taking out protection – affordability.

In our recent State of the Protection Nation research, this was the top reason given by consumers for not owning life insurance (27%), critical illness (30%) or income protection (26%).1

But protection doesn’t have to cost as much as they might think and there are a number of options available to keep the cost down. One of those options is family income benefit.

What is family income benefit?

Family income benefit (FIB) is an inexpensive solution that helps take a load off the client’s mind that, should the worst happen, their family would have a financial coping strategy. Rather than paying out a lump sum on death, it pays out a regular tax-free income on death until the end of the term (some providers like Royal London also cover earlier diagnosis of a critical illness).

The total amount paid out by the policy depends on when the client dies. If they die in the early years of the policy, the total payout will be more than if they die nearer the end of the term of the policy. Because the total payout decreases over time, it’s cheaper than an equivalent single lump-sum life insurance policy which runs for the same period.

Why use it?

FIB is a cheap and easy way for a client to provide their family with an income rather than a lump sum if they die. It can be especially attractive for clients with young families as they might want cover to run until their children are grown up.

This income could be used to meet everyday expenses or to pay for specific on-going expenses such as school or university fees. It’s not appropriate for covering a mortgage or other debts where a lump sum would be required.

Let’s take a look at an example based on the average monthly cost of running a home in the UK, which is £15162. Assuming half of this amount is the mortgage, we’re left with monthly household costs of £758.  Using FIB, it would cost as little as £5.78 a month for a 30-year-old man to protect this amount for 20 years with Royal London.3 Quite a small price to pay for extra peace of mind.

For clients that have already protected their mortgage and are looking for additional cover, the fact that FIB pays out a regular income rather than a lump sum could also be attractive as it helps to sidestep the issue of where the money should be invested after a successful claim.

Having to deal with a potentially large sum of money during an emotionally difficult time can be a challenge.

And should the customer decide at point of claim that a lump sum would be more appropriate, FIB offers the option to commute the payments into a lump sum. So it’s a flexible solution too.  

FIB can also be a good solution for single parents who are renting. If they were to die, it would provide the child’s guardian with a regular income to cover the day-to-day expenses such as food, clothes and school supplies.

It’s also ideal for someone who has become a full time carer for their spouse or partner, as it could provide a regular income to pay for things such as nurse home visits and utility bills.

Support for you

Our Personal Menu Plan allows clients to choose to have their cover paid out as a lump sum or regular income, so you can tailor it to suit their needs. We’ve also got marketing material specifically aimed at families in our marketing studio that you can customise with your own logo and contact details.


  1.  Royal London, State of the Protection Nation, June 2019
  2. More Than, ‘Cost of running a home’ report, August 2017
  3. Royal London Life Cover only quote based on male, aged 31 next birthday and non-smoker. Sum assured of £9,096 level annual income over a 20 year term. Premiums are correct as at 10 December 2019.