Almost half of mortgage-holders do not have a life insurance policy to cover their contributions in the event of their death. It appears to be the result of tightened wallets, but may be a false economy.
Sainsbury's Life Insurance estimates that 7.1 million people are in such a position. Between them they owe a total of £320 billion, a figure that's up 47% since 2006. One possible explanation is that people are considering such insurance an avoidable expense as they cope with constrained budgets.
Clearly a proportion of the people without cover will be single householders who don't have to worry about dependants. (The ratio of people without life cover is highest among younger owners.) But that still leaves a lot of people whose spouse, partner or children could be left in the lurch.
Covering mortgage costs is one the main reasons for taking out a life insurance policy. Although there are more homes today where both partners work full-time, that's led to many couples getting homes that they couldn't afford on a single wage.