Are you financially protected post divorce? – Kathryn Knowles

Kathryn Knowles for Smart Divorce

Tamsin speaks to financial protection specialist, Kathryn Knowles. They discuss the financial protection options, how and why to review your protection post divorce and how to financially protect you and your family. 

I’m a founder of Cura Financial Services an insurance broker, and Advice for Advisers: training advisers in protection insurance.

I have worked in the insurance industry since 2010 and have had a real mixture of roles. I have been involved in compliance, administration, advising, training, marketing, website design and possibly more that I’m forgetting to mention.

I set up an insurance brokerage with my husband in 2012. To me, to be able to grow and develop a strong company, I felt that I must understand all roles inside and out. Since then Cura Financial Services has gone from strength to strength, leading us to win multiple national awards.

I am known and have been commissioned by insurers to share my approach to providing protection advice. Often referred to as ‘humanising’ the insurance world. I have been involved with outreach campaigns for Scottish Widows, British Friendly and The Exeter.

I have also been involved in consultations with the Chartered Insurance Institute, Association of British Insurers, British Insurers Brokers Association and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

twitter – Kathryn_Cura

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Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.

You can contact Tamsin at or arrange a free initial meeting using She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK

Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd

P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…

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(The transcript has been created by an AI, apologies for any mistakes)

—Tamsin Caine 0:06
Hello, and welcome to the Smart Divorce Podcast. I’m Tamsin Caine and I will be your host during this our series 6 of the podcast. We’re delighted that you’re joining us again, and hope that you really enjoy today’s episode. During series 6 we’ll be speaking to other divorce professionals who help in perhaps some of the more unusual ways. So we will be speaking to lawyers who deal with international divorce. We will be speaking child inclusive mediation to name a few. I really hope that you enjoy today’s episode. Let’s jump right in. Hello, and welcome to the Smart Divorce podcast. I’m delighted to be joined today by Kathryn Knowles from Cura Insurance. So Kathryn founded Cura Financial Services, which is an insurance broker and advice for advisors, which trains advisors in protection insurance, and she’ll be a whiz at this because Kathryn also has her own podcast

Kathryn Knowles 1:16
Fingers crossed!

Tamsin Caine 1:18
It’ll all go well, thank you for joining me today, Kathryn, it’s real pleasure to have you with us. And you’ve got a you’ve got someone on your lap today as well.

Kathryn Knowles 1:28
I do. I have reserved for Jumuah

for some reason he’s approached, but I’d say our Fudge, we’ve said fudget,…. He’s just wanting cuddles today, which is fine by me. I’m quite happy the children are out. So he’s my Hot Water Bottle instead of my five year old. So that’s good.

Tamsin Caine 1:44
Awesome. That’s fabulous. If you’re listening to us on the on the audio on the podcast recording, you won’t be able to see him. So you might want to just nip onto YouTube and have a look because he is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Kathryn Knowles 2:01
I’ve tried to picture him earlier. And he was just

Tamsin Caine 2:03
dive in it, dive in it.

Kathryn Knowles 2:07
I’m just I’m banned for those just like you you then that’s fine.

Tamsin Caine 2:11
Fair enough. Fair enough. So today, we’re gonna talk about financial protection. So do you want to start us off by by giving us a little bit of information about what that what it means what it is?

Kathryn Knowles 2:27
Yeah, no, absolutely. So there’s three sorts of really key areas when we’re talking about stuff like protection insurance. So I am a protection insurance advisor. And I mean, there are lots of different insurances that all do very valuable things, but I’m just going to stick to the ones that I generally do, which are things known as life insurance, critical illness, cover and income protection. So life insurance is pretty much what we think it is, it’s there, if you were to die, it’s going to pay out some money to your loved ones, to help them cope with the fact that you’re not going to be there financially in supporting them. There’s lots of different things that come into advising on this and lots of different ways to set it up. And there’s multiple types of life insurance style policies. But that’s like a very basic kind of initial rundown of what that is. And with the critical illness cover side of things that’s different. So that’s all about you being diagnosed with a critical illness that is insured and covered by the insurer that you with, and often it like is specified severity as well. So on average, we would say something like 60 conditions are covered. And generally with critical illness cover is going to cover things like cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis, often goes quite a few neurological conditions like Parkinson’s, and things like that. And again, that will pay out a cash lump sum if you are diagnosed with a condition that meets the criteria of the insurer. And that’s there to kind of help you in a lot of different types of situations. So it could be that you, I don’t know, maybe you need to adapt your home due to something that’s happened to your health. So it might be going towards that helping you fund that. It could be that you maybe have private medical insurance, and you actually can use some of the funds towards getting some support private medical insurance, or, or there’s quite a few different things that stand off me as well. I know somebody quite well, and she had breast cancer. And I didn’t realise how apparently afterwards, you have to get really specific bras and they are incredibly expensive. And so it’s think it’s stuff like that basically once you get the payouts you can then do what’s right for you in terms of your situation. We then have income protection, which is an area that I absolutely adore. And that is a policy that will pay out a monthly income to you. If you are ill for whatever reason you are ill and unable to work. It will pay out some income to you every single month to make sure that ideally that you can at least keep up with mortgage repayments in your bills. Hopefully even a bit more than that as well just to make sure that that you’re going to be safe and secure going forward.

Tamsin Caine 5:00
Yeah, absolutely, I’m with you. I love income protection as well, which seems like a very peculiar thing to say. And our listeners will be like these two are obviously completely crackers. I’m with you. On the on the critical illness cover I did a client a few years ago who had suffered a critical, critical illness ventures a few years younger. And she had had critical illness cover, thank goodness. And she’d actually used the money because she wasn’t wasn’t sure how long she was going to be around. But she was well enough to travel, she’d leave us money to go off on a world cruise.

Kathryn Knowles 5:38
That’s one of the examples I give to people actually. And I’ll say things people often say to my advisors, what can I do? So I’ll just say, well, once you’ve got the money, it’s up to you, you know, in a sense, if you want it to go on a world cruise, instead of paying off a mortgage, or doing X Y, Zed, go enjoy yourself, you know, it’s completely up to you what you deal with it, it’s just there to give you that bit of comfort, because the last thing you want, if you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that is at the level, that you’re going to get that payout, the last thing you want is to have financial worries behind you. So a lot of people use it for things like paying off a mortgage, because then they just go you know what, at least I don’t have to worry about that the home safe, it’s my home, no one’s gonna touch it, no one’s gonna take it. And that’s just going to put me in a headspace where I really feel I can tackle whatever’s going on health wise right now. But whatever sticks here was quite interesting as well, we’ve come across it quite a few times that my company is people who have critical illness cover. And I’ve actually had a critical illness but feel, for whatever reason have just felt out I think I can I don’t think it’s been bad enough to be able to claim on it. There’s quite a few people where they’ve been coming to us for advice. And we’re saying, well have you actually have you checked, and we’ve actually ended up even people being diagnosed a few years before, but something a guessing that payments through. So if you do have anything like that, and you’ve had any conditions diagnosed, do just make sure to put up the documents and see if it’s something that there’s no hardship in asking.

Tamsin Caine 7:00
Absolutely don’t lose anything at all by asking the question do absolutely. I suppose that in an ideal world, if these types of cover were all free, we’d have as much as we possibly could as the insurance company would underwriters for? But obviously there are costs associated with them. Can you just talk us through kind of the different insurances. And they kind of I know, you can’t give a specific class because it’s individual, it depends on your state of health and your age, and where you live and all sorts of other things. But broadly speaking, how, how do they progress these types of insurance in terms of cost?

Kathryn Knowles 7:44
Yeah, so a lot of the time, what we will be doing, especially things like life insurance, and critical illness cover, and the premiums are often what a class is guaranteed. So if you’ve set it up as a policy of 10 years ago, with most insurers in the UK, they will still be that premium. Now we’ve kind of lock it in place at that point. And if you have had a change of health, that’s not going to with Most insurers, it’s not going to affect that price. It’s not going to affect eligibility, it’s it’s all done. I always say to people, it’s a snapshot of when that policy starts. And so on the day that policy starts the insurer saying, this is you this is your life, this is what it’s looking at. So this is the price that we’re going to charge you for the next I don’t know, 3040 years. That’s if you want to keep the policy that long. And the same, you’re going the other way, as well. So you’re saying you’re looking at that insurer on that to go, right, I’m looking at your terms and conditions, this is what you offer, I’m a green sign up to that if I want it for all this time, fair enough. But following a cancer in 10 years time that’s like my to do so I would always say that’s a good idea to get advice before cancelling things like that in terms of pricing, it’s as you said, it’s completely dependent upon age, the amount of colour that you’re wanting, why you’re wanting it. Your smoker status, things like they still got things like BMI, health conditions, not all health conditions are going to influence the premium. With the life insurance, you’re more likely to have a premium increase if there was going to be anything happened to it that says something like an exclusion and with critical illness cover you can have a little bit hit and miss it can be an exclusion, it seems to be a price increase. But generally what I say to people is that some a lot of people are quite interested in things like critical illness, cover and income protection. But it is more expensive than life insurance. Because I always use this example in some training that I do. So I’m 37. And I say to people and getting guests on, like, what’s the likelihood of me dying now at age 37. And we’re not expecting in a sense for me to die. And the actual the risk is about 5%. Now when we go to being diagnosed with a critical illness and what’s really interesting about this is the fact that you know critical illnesses are being diagnosed quite regularly quite a lot. And we hear about cancers all the time and strokes and heart attacks, but the risk of me having a critical illness at this moment is 14%. Now the risk of me not being able to work for a period of two months or more due to ill health is actually 50%. So the risks are actually far more in the critical illness, and especially the income protection space, which is why they are more expensive. But general rule of thumb, I say to people, whatever price you’ve seen for life insurance, expect it to be somewhere between three to five times more expensive when you’re looking at critical illness when you’re looking at income protection, because it is more expensive. And the reason being is that it is so much more likely that you’re going to be claiming on it. But life insurance itself, again, it does come down to age and things like that. But we can see life insurance from as little as five pound a month, it can easily go up to much higher than that based upon the individual circumstances. And ultimately, the amount of cover that you want. If you’re wanting 100,000 pounds with a cover versus a million, then that’s very different. And there’s lots of different ones as well. So you can have ones that last like 20 years, or you can ask to have ones that lasts the whole of your life, which are definitely more expensive, because they will just keep going until you pass away. There’s not like an end date. And then you have something as well known as family income benefit, which is quite an interesting one. And that might be something that we’re coming on to another topic, I think that probably explain a little bit more in terms of some of the aspects of if somebody is getting divorced.

Tamsin Caine 11:16
Absolutely. Just just to knit back a bit and just explain a word that you used a few minutes ago. You talked about exclusions, what what does that mean?

Kathryn Knowles 11:29
So with exclusions, we can get exclusions on these protection policies. So I said Life Insurance, we don’t genuinely get that. But it is really important as well. And if you are somebody who is going through a divorce, and you’re finding you in a position of having to take out life insurance now, I’m not suggesting that you would be in an area where this would possibly be a concern. But it is just important to know that the majority of life insurances in the UK come with an initial development, suicide exclusion. So you might have exclusion, but it’s usually just that 12 month suicide exclusion. At the start, it’s very unusual to get life insurance with other exclusions with critical illness cover that can be quite different. So if you are somebody who’s maybe had breast cancer in the past, it could be that you have a breast cancer exclusion on the policy. And it’s really important to watch out and to look for this, because some might actually just put on a blanket cancer exclusion. So make sure it’s finding one that really matches you best is gonna give you the best quality contract. And with income protection, that can sometimes be a free form. In terms of exclusions, I have to say, it can really be different, it doesn’t help it, there’s really different types of insurance working in the market. And there’s so many ways to access it. And it might be that with one insurer that you can’t have the cover, because you’ve got a couple of things that mean that they can’t offer. But then another one, absolutely, they could just take you on without any concerns whatsoever. So a good example of that, though, where we might get exclusions are things like mental health, so especially in income protection to areas that they mainly people claim on mental health and back pain. So if you’ve had either of those that it’s quite often that you’ll probably see an exclusion on there. And I’m not going to go into massive complexity. But that’s me talking at the moment is if we’re arranging it personally, so just ourselves for ourselves, there are completely different options if you happen to have a company, and we can maybe look at options that can be arranged through a company, but I’m sure that will take FAR, much longer than the time that we won’t go into that complexity.

Tamsin Caine 13:31
Okay, so let’s say we’re getting divorced, because that’s though the people who are going to be listening to us today are likely to be either going through divorce or, or kind of considering the implications of that happening. So so we would suggest that they review any financial protection that they have in place, not necessarily do anything immediately. But once the divorce is done, then obviously this is an important area to review. So what we’re going to be looking at.

Kathryn Knowles 14:06
So the key things really wants to look at and to consider is if there are insurances in place, and make sure you know about them, because it’s been quite typical that in the past, and I’m not again, one stereotype or anything, but it’s been quite typical that, you know, men have been the ones that have set up a lot of the financial side of things. I think that’s massively changing. Now, I have to say I’m, you know, for me, I have completely equal amounts of men and women that I speak to. And similarly, as well as the woman has genuinely been the one sorting out the other person, they really need to know what has been arranged. We tend to sometimes find that people who are the main breadwinners, they’re often insured for more. But it’s really important to know and to make sure that you’re not it’s not just the bit the breadwinner that’s insured because whoever isn’t earning as much they are also very, very relevant to the couple and do need their own insurances, but things to look out for is with these insurances? Do they have something on the life insurance and critical illness, which can be what’s considered as joints? So two people can have a share of a plan? And is there anything known as a separation clause? So, separation clause is something where you can contact the insurer and just say, Look, we’re divorcing, they want theirs, I want mine. Can you just saw that out for us, and the show was stepping into that, there’s quite a lot of policies now that don’t have separation clauses in them. And that’s where things can start getting a bit tricky. Because it can be quite difficult, then to make sure to soft, change it so that you do both have your individual policy. And it might be that somebody turns around and thinks, Well, you know, what, just let them have it, I’ll just take my name off it, and then it can just become their own policy. And I’ll just set up my own, which can be potentially okay. But bear in mind that when you’ve got sort of a new policy, you are older, so the pricing is probably going to be higher, not necessarily silly amounts, but it will comparatively be higher, if you’ve had any health changes, that could potentially really influence the price as well. So you might need to have a really sensible discussion between the two of us to actually if one of us going to keep it, which ones which one, is it fair, and it says to keep if one of you can just go out and get a new policy, and it’s what’s known as the basic standard premiums, and the other one’s gonna have difficulty, then maybe just work sensitively together so that that person can can obviously keep that policy in place. Things like income protection, it’s all based upon yourself as an individual. So that should just carry on. And some of the things that we’ve come across, though, are people where they’ve potentially kept the insurance in place, and maybe even kept paying for the insurance for the ex partner, because they’ve maybe got children of different situations. Because then what they’ve thought is what if I keep paying for it, then if something does happen to them, I’m still I’m gonna get that money to help me raise the children. And that can be potentially a good argument to have. And we’ve also had it before with people who are going through a divorce who’ve come to us and said, actually, as part of my divorce stipulation, I have to put life insurance in place. And so my children are of a certain age. And so it’s definitely things to be aware of the so many ways to turn it off. And very quickly, going on to the family income benefits. That’s it. It’s a beautiful policy, it’s incredibly confusing. It’s called income benefits, because it’s a life insurance policy. But essentially, what you do is you insure a certain amount of money each year to be paid to you either as like an annual lump sum, but usually like a monthly amount. So that would be a case of right. I don’t know we’ve got two children. And we feel that it’s going to cost at least 20,000 pounds a year to sort of keep them in their current sort of like ability to do all their sports they want to do or maybe at the schools that they want to be at and maintain a standard of living. So that’s going to cost the least 20,000. So what we’re going to do is ensure this person over here ex partner for 20,000 pounds every year until the children age 18. And then that means that if they do pass away, that you’re going to receive that money every year until the children are independent. And it’s just an extra little version of trying to get you some support.

Tamsin Caine 18:20
Yeah, tends to be a little bit cheaper as well, doesn’t it family benefit?

Kathryn Knowles 18:25
It depends it can be. But then it depends that kind of going a little bit towards financial advice with this one, in some ways, because it’s kind of what’s known as it’s not a decreasing policy, but it kind of is because, yeah, it’s if you start off with 20,000 pound over 10 years, that’s 200,000 pounds, then the next year, it will become 180,000 pounds pretty much from a year from being at a split point, they just have to bear with me with the basic maths, and apologies for my dog barking in the background. So it kind of decreases over time. And so it can work out cheaper, but then they can sometimes then be arguments or just say well do you just get to 2000 pounds of level life insurance from the stats. And actually, then once you’ve got that you get in touch with a full financial advisor who can then investigate and do things like that and do magic with it. So it’s really, you know, it’s really tricky. But again, it really comes to stuff like that thing of, there’s a lot of people out there who are really experts at knowing what to do with these things and who have helped lots of people through it and, and people can absolutely go at it on their own, but sometimes just started reaching out can really sort of give you some good insights into what really works well in the long run.

Tamsin Caine 19:38
Yeah, absolutely. So it is it’s likely that or I suppose it’s not likely it’s possible that your for example, you might have given up work to look after the children and on divorce, you have to go back to work. So you might be wanting to look at some policies that you’ve never I’ve considered before.

Kathryn Knowles 20:01
Absolutely, yeah. And it’s, it can be quite daunting. And, and I don’t know, for definite the statistics are where they’re from but a very close colleague of mine, I trust implicitly, he’s found a lot of information specifically about a lot of women who are divorcing and, and they’re maybe in their 40s 50s. And they’re trying really hard to get insurance, I’ve never had to do this before, it was always kind of there and just done and they’ve maybe not done it themselves. And on top of that, they’re also going through menopause, which is also sometimes it’s actually causing quite a lot of people to be quite cautious about where to go for insurance, because they don’t know what they need to say they don’t know what’s going to come up about it. And they’re often just going straight online, and just trying to do it all themselves, which can sometimes work. But again, going for a bit of advice can really sell to like how to find the right options there. Because using that as an example, to celebrate the menopause, generally, for life insurance, critical illness cover, it shouldn’t cause any concerns whatsoever. It’s not no one’s gonna be asking you the question, how are you going through the menopause, you know, that doesn’t come up in the applications. It can come up sometimes the treatment, though. So if you are taking HRT if you’re taking any anxiety, anxiety medication that can come up, but again, it shouldn’t really influence what you’re able to get, it can sometimes potentially influence income protection, though, if you are taking incise medication. So again, that’s where it’s really important to try and get some advice because at the computer option that we have, it’s kind of like black and white forms will possibly put on site a potentially a mental health exclusion, whereas if you get involved and start chatting to people, we can try and avoid those things. So but not so no, there’s there’s plenty of things that can happen. And people are saved from from being divorced, you are entering into a world that’s you know, very different in lots and lots of different areas. But a key example there that you’re talking about is people who’ve maybe given up work to look after children. Now I say I’m a specialist in protection insurance. But that in itself, that situation has had a knock on effect to that person’s pension, and lots of things. And I’m certainly not going to comment on the pension side. But again, talking about things like income protection, you know, if we’ve already maybe lost some of those really cool years, but going into our pension, if we are going back into work, then we want to protect that income as much as possible and not risk, potentially losing it. And then again, having that a potential impact upon our pension when we are getting to that age.

Tamsin Caine 22:33
Yeah, absolutely. I might be wrong in saying this. But can you cover pension contributions with income protection?

Kathryn Knowles 22:42
You can typically cover pension contributions on a personal policy. And if it was a policy through a company, which it needs to be a limited company, it is also not group income protection, that can cover pension contributions and ni contributions depending on how it’s set up. But on personal insurance, you wouldn’t usually do that. But what happens is, with the income protection, you ensure a certain percentage of your gross income. And the idea is is that the money that you would receive each month is going to be a little less than what you would usually take home. But it’s not meant to be lots less, just on the basis that you notice as the shows wants to be there, they want to make sure that you are receiving the income. But that also needs to be that balance of at the same point if you weren’t able to get back to work, trying to encourage you to be able to get back. And so it’s very, very fine balance with it all. But out of that money that you do receive, you could choose to obviously still put into a pension and to probably seek advice as to what best way to use that.

Tamsin Caine 23:47
Absolutely. That’s good advice. That is I do see a lot of clients who my clients tend to be the person who hasn’t looked after the money in their relationship, and they’re fearful of money in general. And so I think you’re right, if you are in that position, and you haven’t looked after the insurances and so on before, then your best bet is to get hold of somebody like Kathryn, who can help you through the jungle. That is because there are so many decisions to be made. You know, do you have your policies increasing? Do you have them level? How long do you have them for what age do you take? Tell how much coffee do you take? And I think that’s that’s one of the things that I wanted to just to talk touch on for a short while now is how, you know, actually, what should we be talking about covering how much? What are the important things that we need to be thinking about when it comes to the different types of culture that we’re looking at?

Kathryn Knowles 24:51
Yeah, absolutely. I’m just being asked as well. I want to talk about trusts at some point as well, because that’s really relevant as well as people are divorcing. So put that aside for a second. And so in terms of life insurance and things like that, at the very least, we want to have a mortgage covered, if you do have a mortgage in place, let’s make sure that is safe. Because the last thing you want life insurance or potentially critical illness wise is life insurance, you want to make sure that your loved ones are going to be getting that it’s possibly children involved, you want to make sure that if anything happens, that mortgage is paid, they can stay in the family home, and, and maybe even add some more on top just to provide some extra so that whoever is going to be important to raise them is able to have that money to raise them to a level that you are happy, you know, and know that they’re going to be really well taken care of. So the very least mortgage, when we’re looking at that extra, so it would talk about like family protection on top, potentially, the general rule of thumb, and this is this always outliers is roughly three to five times your annual salary. So that’s three to five years worth of your income being put aside to raise your children or potentially to help support your partner while they’re adjusting to no longer being with them. But dogs come back from Burma. So we’ll be doing that critical illness cover, we’ve been looking at the same. And one thing I would suggest as well is that if you look at critical illness cover, and you’re looking at those kinds of figures, and you’re thinking I’m just not sure about the pricing, then why not look at half, you know, instead of just walking around without anything, why not look at half and then again, you maybe think well actually, if I can get at least half the mortgage paid off, then that in itself is a huge weight off my shoulders, you know, the repayments will go down and with everything that’s going on at the moment, anything we can do to sort of save money in the long run is obviously very, very positive thing with income protection. And I will be saying and I always go to my clients and I say I’m going to give you the all singing or dancing version. So I’m going to do it the highest percentage I can do, I’m going to do it to the largest kind of like retirement age I can go to as well, I’m going to be doing it what’s known as the shortest deferred payment period, which is a very, they call it deferred periods, which again is just the more jargons basically say the amount of times you need to wait for when you can’t work. So when the insurance kicks in, and gives you some money to help you out to it. So the payments can potentially pay all the way to when you retire. There’s lots different things that are guaranteed premium as well. But you can work backwards, all those things I mentioned can be changed and tweaked to make sure it goes to a budget that really suits you. And I’ve just been asked as far as as to how long for the life insurance and critical illness cover again, you’d want it to be going towards the mortgage, like at least the mortgage term, when the children have age of independence, and then that’s quite a tricky one at the moment. So we always think 18 minutes 21. Now it’s 125. I’ve heard some people saying 30 To me, and I’m just like, okay, they’re thinking, okay, okay. But you know, things to consider the other side, as well as potentially state, state pension age, all the time that you think you’d be retiring. If you were in a position where you have things like inheritance tax, then that was stuff like that you would be wanting to go to what’s known as whole of life. So that will be just an ending, just to make sure that it is there. Whenever that taxation hits, back to trusts very quickly, I’ve remembered it’s there. So with a lot of insurance policies, they can be known as what is printed trust. And that is a legal document that basically says, For if we say life insurance, just to try make it as easy as possible critical illness, possibly in it as well. But we’ll just do say life insurance. So basically, I’ve got a policy, like it’s interest to say, right, when something happens to me, I want it to pay to my husband, I’m also giving my husband permission to own this policy with me. And so if something happens to me, he can just say, Yeah, I want to pay it myself. That’s all fine. That’ll be the usual way that a couple would set up a trust. through a divorce, it can sometimes get a bit messy. And it’s a bit tricky. Because as the planners, it let’s say I divorced my husband, I can’t change in the loss of insurance, I can’t change that trust without his permission. So we then sometimes have the difficulty of debate to say, look, we really do need to change this because you know, I don’t want you to have control of it. I know what my sister can do to control it, and I want it to go to my children. Everybody might want to be doing that. That’s fine. It might be that you keep it in place as it is because you know, you might want the if the children would go to live with the host ex husband, maybe you do want him to have money, that’s fine. Sometimes. So in some situations, people might actively choose to cancel that original policy and set up a new one set up a new trust just because of it depends on how, how intense the divorce is going. But again, as I said before, I wouldn’t advocate cancelling a policy without really getting some support as to what is the right option?

Tamsin Caine 29:52
Yeah, absolutely. Because if the policy would have been useful to you and you’ve cancelled it, you lose that opportunity to keep it With the potentially lower premiums and actually better health, if you were, if you’re in if you’ve had any health issues more recently, which, which can occur during divorce, unfortunately, because it is a stressful time.

Kathryn Knowles 30:16
Anything else I say really keen as well with these protection insurances is for people to be aware of what’s known as value added benefits. Now, these are extras that are now available with these insurances, they’re not paid for extra, there’s something that insurers are just offering now, and quite a few of them are offering them to all of their clients, it doesn’t matter when you set the policy up. So it’s always worthwhile asking, checking, but with those, you can have things like mental health support and counselling support. You can have convenient things like you know, getting getting you personalised nutrition plans, personalised exercise regimes, things like that. Some of them even offer things like remote GP appointments like 24 hours a day, seven days a week, video consultations, with your GP, anywhere from wherever you are in the world, you know, I’ve used it for when I was on holiday in Malta, for one of my children actually phenomenal. And so again, just keep an eye out for stuff like that, because there’s lots of support in lots of different areas. And, and they could really be quite valuable, especially if you are going through a divorce.

Tamsin Caine 31:14
Absolutely. And Divorce isn’t the only time that we should be reviewing protection policies as it because we can, I think there’s a there’s a general thing that happens where we’ll, we’ll move house, we’ll settle for insurances, Richards’s with somebody, and then we’ll stick them in a filing cabinet, we’ll forget all about them. And I have known people to accidentally cancel direct debits for life insurance policies, because they kind of go, Well, I can’t think what I’m paying legal in general for every other insurance plan policy. And so yeah, how often? How often should we be reviewing these things?

Kathryn Knowles 31:57
I mean, in an ideal world, just like you would do with pensions, or investments or anything like that, ideally, have a look every year at it. That’s not to say, jump from policies policy every year, but just to make sure it still suits you. So one of the things that we do is we reach out to all of our clients, and we’ll send, like some contacts, then we’ll not think, or phone them if we can’t even sorry about that stuff. My worst was second, I will email them and they’ll say, right, has anything changed? You know, have you got a new mortgage? Or has your mortgage significantly reduced? For some reason? You know, could you potentially not saying we should do necessarily, but you might want to reduce, you know, the the amount of insurance that you have, you might want to keep it there’s arguments for both? Have you stopped smoking, that’s a really big one, because in the UK, with most insurers if you have been if you are a smoker, so that’s it’s important to say that with a lot of insurance as any form of nicotine at all. So even gum, even patches can be classed as a smoker, and your premium is roughly going to be double that of a nonsmoker. So if you have stopped smoking for at least 12 months, with quite a few insurers, there’s a potential to have your premiums. And so that’s really important to be aware of. And yeah, have you changed your job? Has your income changed? Have you got divorced? You know, that’s, that’s a really big one as well. Because you do tend to find that when people are married, they tend to have lots of joints, entwined financial things. And when you’re getting divorced, you need that picking apart. And and it’s quite tricky, because from like an advice point of view. So it’s for me and my regulators. In a sense, they would say to me, if someone’s got a mortgage, right, you need to do them joint cover. But this is growing argument now to say, Well, should we be doing joint calls? Or should it be single? Because actually, none of us know what is going to happen in the future. None of us go into a marriage thinking, Yeah, we might get divorced at some point, because we wouldn’t be going into the marriage. And so it’s sometimes you know, that might also be a bit of a tricky thing to go, we’ll actually shouldn’t get single, just in case when you get divorced, that in itself is quite a thing to face. But it is worth sometimes really considering just a bit extra. And it’s certainly not my specialism or anything like that. But there are things there are definitely areas of financial abuse, and insurances will come into things like that. And it’s just making sure that you are safe from every direction, in terms of the financial side of things. But definitely, you know, the times that you need life insurance are when there’s a mortgage, someone that will inherit the mortgage. So that’s, that’s usually children. And if there’s things like inheritance tax, we want to make sure that again, we’ve tried to do as much as possible to help people to make sure that they can access these dates and critical illness because that’s all about you. You know, a big thing of about to you all potentially. And I know we spoke about this slightly earlier, but it might be that you get something like critical illness cover and you may not think about that you may be thinking I’m going to use this to pay for a carer to be able to come in and one help me but also someone’s couldn’t help my children while I’m not going to be in the mall. is active, and then that gives me more chance to possibly get better, quicker things like that. And income protection for me, anybody who’s earning an income to me should be looking at income protection, it’s just too valuable to miss up the opportunity.

Tamsin Caine 35:15
Yeah, absolutely agree with that, I think, think, especially when you’re on your own, if you’re a single parent, for example, and it’s all it all becomes on you, so you’ve got the children for X amount, the time, but the responsibility is on you. You may have some maintenance coming in as well. But what happens if that money comes to you doesn’t come to you and you can’t work? Then you’re solely responsible for it. So I think you’re absolutely right, I think income protection is as as we both very sadly, is one of our favourite insurances. Because it’s just, it just it does the job. And it it’s going to, it’s something you’re paying for that you will benefit from if you ever need it. And if you don’t ever need it, to be brutally honest, if you’ve paid that money and never have to claim off it, that’s a really good thing.

Kathryn Knowles 36:11
Exactly as it says quite tricky. Because sometimes people say to me, once, if I’m not gonna get anything at the end, you kinda want to say, but the positive is that you’ve not been ill for all this time. And there’s a really good way of describing it that I’ve heard plenty of people say, and I’m going to steal it and say it here. And one of the things is like with income protection is there, right? If there was a cash machine on your front lawn, and it gave you in cash every single month, let’s say 1500 pounds, and you knew on the first Friday of every month, nine o’clock, that money was gonna fire out and that was your money for the entire month, what would you do to guard and protect it, so your neighbours don’t get it, you know, we’d all be out there, we’d be sort of like, we’d have our weapons, and we’d have everything else we’d have a big, you know, metal thing with locks around it to make sure we’d all be scrunching into it to make sure that when it comes straight into our hands and went into the house, and ultimately, that cash machine is our bodies, you know, we are completely reliant upon our bodies to be able to work and to be able to achieve what we do. And there’s plenty of ways that we can adapt, and still carry on working in the loss of situations. But you know, I think sometimes when we start right, when we think of it as an actual thing, and what we would do to protect that, then try and start to think well, actually, no, that’s That’s me, that can sometimes just help start really hit home how, you know, it isn’t something to ignore.

Tamsin Caine 37:32
Absolutely. No, that’s, that’s a really good way of thinking about it. I’ve never heard that before, all these years, but it’s brilliant. No, I really like that. I think I think the thing is with with all these things, they’re about giving you peace of mind, and they’re about if something goes wrong, you can concentrate on getting better, certainly with income protection and critical illness cover. It means that the focus of you can be away from the financial stress, and focus in on you getting well and I don’t know what the statistics are anymore by the use do. And there’s really good statistic but like positive statistics around people who have that financial protection in place, and have that support and background knowing that they can concentrate on getting better and not have to worry about about the bills. So think it is something that’s that’s really important that we should all think about for our futures. Coming to the end of our time together, sadly, Kathryn is there. I asked us. Is there anything I should have asked you, but I haven’t?

Kathryn Knowles 38:49
I’m not sure. I think we’ve covered over a lot of things coming this again, with these insurances. It’s so intense that, you know, we could spend hours talking about complexity, and there be so much jargon and everything like that. But I think you know, it comes down to the key thing that you were saying, make sure that you are viewing what’s there, make sure you’re getting your hands on all of that, you know, go through the bills and see, right, that’s an insurance company that that money’s going out to that. What was it? You know, what does that mean? Was I covered by that? Was my ex partner covered by that? Should they still have that in place? So they’re going to potentially try and cancel it because you know of x y Zed? Yeah. And there’s really, really good arguments for making sure that some insurances are still in place, you know, especially when children are involved because no matter what, when anything like this happens the children you know, they need to be safe and secure and they’re already going through a huge amounts of change anyway, and and I think that insurance can be something that it doesn’t have to be stressful to set it up. I have to say, you know, it can go quite smoothly. And then at the end of it, it is done. Like you say it’s a piece of paper in a drawer right now, a lot of times a PDF on your computer. But it’s there, and then you just know that’s there. That’s security. And it’s surprising how many people feel like a huge weight has been lifted off them just because they know that that’s there. But hopefully, this has helped people to understand what to look out for and, and what to be considering going forward. And I have my fingers crossed for anybody who is listening to this and, and is going through something like as if I hope that everything is going as okay as possible. And yeah, everyone just take care of themselves. Really.

Tamsin Caine 40:29
Oh, that’s really lovely. Thank you so much for joining me, I think that’s been an incredibly useful episode and, and we’ll we’ll help a lot of our listeners to get their heads around what they should be looking out for and what they should be considering. And I’m sure there’ll be people listening who wants to get in touch with you and, and work with you. How can they do that?

Kathryn Knowles 40:52
Well, I’m kind of here, there and everywhere on social media. So the main place I’m on is things like Twitter. So I’m you know, it’s my name Kathryn_Cura, I think you’ve said that you’ll possibly put something up somewhere. So you’ll see me that it’s a random picture of my dog fudge, who’s obviously been a little bit on here on here. It’s things about my kids things about majors in general, as well as insurance type stuff. And I do have a website care insurance and, and there’s also a podcast as well that people might find useful, which is the practical protection podcast, there is a website again for that, but with that one, it gives for people who were potentially trying to set up insurance if they have had any health changes, lots of episodes in there to describe what you would need to know to be able to apply the insurance what you might find at the end of it and and hopefully people do find that interesting for their journeys going forward.

Tamsin Caine 41:45
Fantastic. I can say that your podcasts has certainly been very helpful to me. I’ve listened to a few episodes over the over the last year or two. Yes, it we will put your contact details know your links in the show notes so that people can get in touch with you. Thank you for joining me. And thank you all for listening or watching depending on how you’re accessing this podcast. And if you have enjoyed our conversation it would be fantastic if you could give us a lovely five star rating. And if you do have any ideas of people that you would like us to interview then please do get in touch again my details are in the show notes and we will see you soon.

I hope you enjoyed the episode of the Smart Divorce podcast. If you would like to get in touch please have a look in the show notes for our details or go onto the website Also if you are listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify and you wouldn’t mind leaving us a lovely five star review. That would be fantastic. I know that lots of our listeners are finding this is incredibly helpful in their journey through separation divorce and dissolving a civil partnership. Also, if you would like some further support, we do have Facebook group now. It’s called ‘Separation divorce and dissolution UK.’ Please do go on to Facebook, search up the group and we’d be delighted to have you join us. The one thing I would say is do please answer their membership questions. Okay, have a great day and take care!

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