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Sole traders ‘lack income protection’

The overwhelming majority of self-employed workers have no critical illness cover, leaving them open to financial ruin in the event of long-term sick leave.

Scottish Widows polled 5,077 individuals and found 93% of Britain's 4.8 million-strong self-employed workforce has no critical illness cover.

76% of respondents said they have nobody to cover for them if they be unable to work for themselves, with 42% not seeing critical illness cover as a priority.

Almost half (47%) of self-employed workers have no savings to fall back on, while 62% have no other source of income outside of running their business.

The average self-employed worker has enough savings to last 9.2 months if they were unable to work, but 48% said their household is solely reliant on income they provide.

Johnny Timpson, protection specialist at Scottish Widows, said:

"Self-employed workers are failing to protect their greatest asset - themselves.

"It's absolutely vital these workers have a back-up plan in place should the unexpected happen, especially with so many of their families being solely reliant on their income.

"Having a financial back-up plan will provide peace of mind and allow people to enjoy the many benefits that self-employment brings."

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