This week we launched our new Virgin Life Insurance policy. Among the risks that the policy does not exclude are heat ray attacks from Martian tripods, use of world terraforming engines by aliens, rampages by a 100ft tall Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and Dalek invasions. It could also cover risks associated with Giants chasing policy holders out of their castles in clouds reached via a beanstalk (Climbing the beanstalk is not an insured risk. Don’t try this one at home).
Darrell Evans, Virgin Money’s Director of Banking, Insurance and Investments, said:
This is a light-hearted attempt to highlight the importance of life insurance. What’s odd, though, is that our sense of risk is a bit skewed. In life we spend too much time imagining the things that will never happen. Maybe we should spend a little bit more time thinking about and planning for what eventually will happen.
For example, around 30 million lottery tickets are sold in the UK every Saturday to hopeful people thinking that they might just win. The odds are in fact higher that they could meet an unfortunate end on the way to buying a ticket than they are to win the jackpot.
Despite the importance of life insurance, a very low percentage of people have policies in place. Virgin Money has revealed in a recent YouGov poll (16,289 people during 2013-2014) that only an average of 23% of the UK adult population has life insurance in place. In London, only 15% of adults have a policy. The Northern Irish are the best protected, but even there only 31% of adults have a life insurance policy. Slightly more men (24%) than women (22%) are covered.
Darrell Evans added:
Essentially what this tells us is that if Londoners got caught up in a row between Thor and Dark Elf Malekith over his plans to destroy the universe and restore the Dark Elves to dominance by unleashing the Aether at the centre of the Convergence in Greenwich, fewer than two in ten adults would have appropriate cover.
But more seriously, while it can be a difficult thing to think about, having life insurance in place is an important part of financial planning. Despite most people agreeing they could see the need for life insurance, on average around three-quarters of those surveyed admitted to not having cover in place. Our new life insurance products are straightforward and offer an easy way for customers to take that all important step towards securing life cover and the benefits such protection will provide, for both themselves and their families.”
Life insurance is not an entirely new concept. The earliest known insurance is thought to date back to China in 2,000 BC. In Ancient Rome an early form of life insurance covered the cost of funeral expenses. William Talbot and Sir Thomas Allen founded the first life insurance company, Perpetual Assurance Office, in London in 1706.
The Virgin Life Insurance product is available to customers aged between 17 and 64 and offers a choice of cover based on an individual’s needs and life stage. Virgin Life Insurance is underwritten by Friends Life.