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16 Jun 2024
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Legal & General

Accident Sickness & Unemployment

Accident Sickness & Unemployment Explained ( ASU )

With accident, sickness & unemployment policies, you pay for an amount of monthly cover - usually between £0 and £1,500 - and if you lose your job or can't work, you get that amount of money each month to spend how you like. Policies usually pay out for up to a year or until you return to work, whichever happens first. It also usually pays a cash lump sum if you die or become disabled during the policy.

Accident Sickness & Unemployment Pros and Cons


  • Worth taking out if you've taken out your mortgage or re-mortgage after October 1995, as you are unlikely to get any help from the state with your mortgage payments if you get into trouble.
  • A good idea if you think making your mortgage payments would be difficult if you were made redundant or too ill to work and you don't have any other protection to cover household bills.
  • May be useful to think about if you don't have a job which has sick pay or your self-employed


  • It covers only a specific debt - your mortgage, so you won't have extra money to provide for other things like food, clothing etc.
  • Can be expensive
  • These types of cover pays for a limited time period, typically 1 to 2 years or until you return to work.

What is an Accident, Sickness & Unemployment Insurance (ASU) Plan?

Accident, Sickness & Unemployment insurance (ASU), can also be referred to as mortgage payment protection and will provide you with an income to meet your outgoings if you are off work sick, have an accident or are made redundant. It pays out a monthly benefit to cover your mortgage and other related costs.

You may choose the amount of benefit you would like to receive, although there are some limits on the maximum amount. The premium will be a percentage of the amount of monthly benefit you would like to receive. Benefits are usually payable for a maximum of 12 months.

Some policies will also allow you to choose whether you want to receive benefits for accident & sickness only, unemployment only or all three. Most policies will also have a 'deferment period' This is the time you have to wait to start receiving benefits from the ASU policy after you have become ill, had an accident or become unemployed. Again, this can vary from having no exclusion period, none as Back to Day One cover, to 30, 60 or 90 days. In some instances, this can be even longer.

Alternatively some ASU policies have a waiting period after which time the claim is paid in full. With a 30 day waiting period, on the 31st day of unemployment or disability the claim is back dated to day 1 & paid in full.

The main instances when you will not be covered are deliberate self injury, riding on a motorcycle, dangerous sports or occupations, working as a professional sports person, or any injury or condition related to normal pregnancy, stress, backache or which you had prior to your application for cover, AIDS related conditions, conditions due to drug and alcohol abuse or your criminal activity. If you have also selected unemployment cover, you will not be covered if you knew or had reason to believe you might become unemployed, if your work is seasonal or temporary or you accept voluntary unemployment. If you are on a contract you can still qualify for unemployment cover if you satisfy certain conditions which are contained in the full policy details. A full list of exclusions will be provided with your policy. You will not be covered for any sickness which occurs during the first 60 days of your policy. You will not be covered for any unemployment which occurs during the first 180 days of your policy.

Who is eligible for ASU Cover?

Anyone can apply for an accident sickness & redundancy policy so long as you are over 18 and under 60 and you normally reside in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You must also be in employment or self-employment for at least 16 hours per week and have been so for the last 6 months.

You can start claiming your income protection typically after just 60 days of being off work through illness or an accident as certified by your doctor. You can select to cover typically any amount up to £1,500.

You can claim your daily income protection from just 60 days after you cannot work through sickness or an accident (or unemployment, if chosen) and continue to claim for up to a full year. As with other forms of personal protection insurances (e.g. life insurance, health insurance) premiums will gradually rise as you get older in line with the rates quoted on this website.

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