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Look on the bright side ...but watch out in case.

No one likes to think the worst but imagine the financial impact a redundancy, a serious illness, or death could have on the family purse.

This year in the UK 620,000 people will die and TWO MILLION will have been unable to work due to sickness.

Our seven-page special report shows YOU how to protect against such crippling eventualities - and looks at how to avoid being hard-up in old age, and the quickest way to build up a lump sum.

So we start off with a look at life cover... Everyone who has dependents should have life cover - and it needn't cost a fortune. Term assurance is life cover in its simplest and cheapest form, costing as little as pounds 2.50 a month.

It pays a tax-free lump if you die during a pre-set term (like the term of a mortgage). If you survive the term you get nothing.

But according to Moneypounds acts, which monitors the best rates, pounds 50,000 of cover over 25 years for a 20-year-old female non-smoker is pounds 2.50 a month with Equitable Life, pounds 3.75 for men.

Last week Friends Provident slashed the cost of its term assurance by between 20 and 40 per cent. A non-smoking male aged 35 next birthday, wanting pounds 100,000 cover over 15 years, will now pay pounds 15.54 a month, instead of pounds 22.48.

Friends Provident's Jeremy Ward says: "One in three families have no life cover and yet, bearing in mind that a man of 40 has a one-in-four chance of dying before 65, the need for protection is essential."

Unlike endowments, which combine life insurance with investment, term assurance means you can switch without attracting heavy penalties.

Life cover can also provide your family with an income if you die - via

Family Income Benefit. Another cheap form of life cover is mortgage- related decreasing term assurance, where the level of cover falls in line with your outstanding debt.

Consider index- linking the policy to protect against inflation.

And always make sure the policy is written in trust.

This means it will automatically go to your family and won't be liable to inheritance tax.

Companies which will scour the market to find the best policy for YOU include Term Direct (0171 588 9797), London & Country (0800 373 300), Policy Profile (0800 212 577) and Chartwell Investment Management (01225 446 556).

It is also worth trying a few of the direct insurers such as Virgin Direct, Direct Line and Marks & Spencer.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Boliver, Diane
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 5, 1997
Words:421
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