Woolworths Demise Further Illustrates Need for PPI Says Burgess

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The sad demise of High Street legend Woolworths illustrates, yet again, the need for people to purchase Payment Protection Insurance and financially cushion against redundancy, says PPI lobbyist Sara-Ann Burgess from Burgesses.

Sara-Ann Burgess, MD Burgesses

Those under notice of redundancy will be unable to buy PPI, but it is available to anyone employed in any sector across the UK. Rumours are abound that people working in 'at risk' sectors such as manufacturing, construction, financial services and now retail, will be turned away, but this is rubbish. If you're not under notice of redundancy, then PPI cover is available.

The sad demise of High Street legend Woolworths illustrates, yet again, the need for people to purchase Payment Protection Insurance and financially cushion against redundancy, says PPI lobbyist Sara-Ann Burgess from Burgesses.

Woolworths went into administration on 26 November with debts of £385m and administrators, Deloitte, were optimistic they could find a buyer. However, funding was not forthcoming and on 11 December 815 outlets started their closing down sale.

Some 30,000 employees have gone from believing they had a job until Christmas to watching the firm's assets being sold off and facing the threat of redundancy. It's predicted some shops will close for good by the end of the year, forcing employees to put job hunting high on their 2009 Resolution list.

Sara-Ann comments: "Very few staff will have Payment Protection Insurance - a product that pays a monthly income should the claimant's salary stop due to unemployment, accident or sickness. This cover provides cash benefits for up to a year, allowing people to meet their bills whilst looking for new employment."

According to the Association of British Insurers and the Council of Mortgage Lenders only 22% of new homeowners bought Mortgage PPI in the first half of this year and those continuing with their payments, dropped to 17%.

"If you apply the 17% figure to Woolies' workforce, only 5,100 would get financial help with their mortgage, via a Policy. The remaining 24,900 will have to find alternative sources of income to pay their bills and this is what's so heartbreaking. The livelihood of thousands is at risk and often not just one person in a household. Whole families are working for this iconic retailer, intensifying their hardship."

As the numbers of redundancies across all sectors, continue to rise, insurers are beginning to withdraw the unemployment only option on their PPI. However, independent firm, British Insurance, continues to offer unemployment cover at £3.40 per £100 of monthly benefit. And not just for those with mortgages, policies within the British Insurance portfolio includes cover for people in rented accommodation and shared ownership schemes.

Sara-Ann continues: "Those under notice of redundancy will be unable to buy PPI, but it is available to anyone employed in any sector across the UK. Rumours are abound that people working in 'at risk' sectors such as manufacturing, construction, financial services and now retail, will be turned away, but this is rubbish. If you're not under notice of redundancy, then PPI cover is available."

Woolworths would have celebrated its 100th year next February and for many, heralds the end of a retailing era.

Sara-Ann concludes: "This is a massive wake-up call. The threat of redundancy is real and widespread - it's non-discriminatory and on your doorstep. Whilst PPI detractors will accuse providers of profiteering from others misery, I counter that the Policy benefits far outweigh the premium. For a monthly premium of £17, £500 a month or up to £6000 over the course of a year, is paid out to meet mortgage or rental payments, plus there's a back to work support service. I suspect those with a sweet tooth could spend more than this on four weeks worth of 'pick n mix'."

As well as unemployment cover, British Insurance, charges £3.90 per £100 for accident, sickness and unemployment and £1.90 per £100 for accident and sickness. It recently scooped a series of awards from magazines and websites for its products, services and for treating customers fairly.

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