Families not protected enough

The research found that 11% of the approximately 1,000 people surveyed would have to sell their home or move to a smaller home if the main breadwinner couldn't find work fairly soon.

Scottish Provident's head of marketing and product development Nick Kirwan believes Britons are under-insured particularly when it came to protecting against job loss. Currently 35% of families do not have life insurance, 63% have no critical illness cover and 81% have no mortgage protection insurance in case they lose their job or can't work because of an illness.

This research, showing the relatively low levels of protection, is worrying as it comes as the UK economy enters a sluggish patch where unemployment in the South has already started to rise.