What is own occupation income protection?

Own occupation income protection refers to an income protection policy with an ‘own occupation’ definition of incapacity.

An income protection policy is designed to help you replace lost income if you’re unable to work due to sickness or accident. Typically it will pay out up to 70% of your usual income.

This can help you to take care of essential financial commitments, such as:

  • Mortgage or rental payments
  • Bills and utilities
  • Childcare costs
  • Transportation costs
  • Other daily living costs

When taking out an income protection policy, you’ll be asked to choose a ‘definition of incapacity' you’d like to be covered for.

An own occupation definition of incapacity is the most comprehensive definition you can choose as it will allow you to make a claim in the event that you become too ill or injured to carry out your specific job role and its associated tasks.

Some other definitions, that are less comprehensive, may require you to take on a different job role (that’s suited to your skills and experience) if you’re unable to do your own.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about own occupation income protection and whether it’s the right option for you…

Compare own occupation income protection

Why not use the services of Reassured Advice to compare own occupation income protection policies?

Our team of experts can compare policies from all of the UK’s major providers, as well as smaller specialists, to help find you the best available deal.

The best part is Reassured Advice are fully FCA regulated and our income protection starts from just 20p-a-day*.

Why not get in touch for your free quotes?

Why Reassured Advice for own occupation income protection?

Save time

Save time by letting our friendly team conduct a whole of market comparison on your behalf to find you the best available deal.

Affordable income protection cover

Affordable income protection cover from just 20p-a-day, from providers who pay out up to 70% of your usual income. With full income protection as well as budget options available.

Support and guidance

Support and guidance throughout the whole application process, so you can have peace of mind that your policy is exactly what you need.

Fully FCA-regulated service

The Financial Conduct Authority (or FCA) is an independent body that regulates the UK’s financial services sector. Its purpose is to protect consumers and ensure that financial markets work well, fairly and competitively.

What is incapacity?

Incapacity refers to the inability to do something and, in the case of income protection, this refers to the inability to work (due to accident or sickness).

There are different definitions of incapacity and you’ll have to option to choose which one you’d like to be covered for.

Some definitions will provide greater levels of cover than others so it’s important to choose wisely.

Income protection definitions of incapacity

When taking out income protection, you’ll typically be given the choice of three definitions of incapacity. These include:

  1. Own occupation
  2. Suited tasks (or suited occupation)
  3. Any occupation

Due to the different underwriting processes used, the terms and conditions of each definition may vary between providers.

This makes comparing quotes even more essential. Why not let Reassured Advice conduct this comparison on your behalf?

But what do these definitions mean?

Let’s look into the most common income protection definitions of incapacity…

  1. Own occupation
    An own occupation definition of incapacity is the most comprehensive definition.

    This is because your policy will allow you to make a claim in the event that you’re unable to carry out your own occupation.

    For example, if you have an active job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time and you sustain a serious leg injury that requires you to be on crutches.

    This would be a valid reason for you to claim on your policy as your injury would prevent you from carrying out your day-to-day tasks.

  2. Suited tasks
    A suited tasks (or suited occupation) definition of incapacity may require you to do a different job if you become too ill or injured to do your own.

    This is because this definition provides a lower level of cover and you’ll only be able to make a claim if you can’t do your own job or any other jobs that may be suited to your skills and experience.

    For example, if you have an active job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time and you sustain a serious leg injury that requires you to be on crutches.

    In this instance, you may be asked to carry out a job role that allows you to remain seated throughout the day but is still within your skillset. This could be at your current company or somewhere else.

    If the injury (or illness) sustained was serious enough to prevent you from working another role other than your own, you’d be able to make a claim and receive your monthly pay outs.

  3. Any occupation
    An any occupation definition provides the lowest level of cover.

    This is because, in order to claim, you must be unable to work in any occupation.

    This means if you become too ill or injured to do your own job you may be asked to do another job, even if this job is lower paid than your current occupation.

    For example, if you have an active job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time and you sustain a serious leg injury that requires you to be on crutches.

    In this instance, you may be asked to carry out any other job role in your organisation or another.

    This definition can be less straightforward to claim on as policies will often require total disability in order for a claim to be successful or the inability to carry out basic tasks.

Reassured Advice can compare income protection policies with own occupation, suited tasks and any occupation definitions of incapacity to ensure you find the right policy to meet your needs.

Which is the best definition of incapacity?

The best definition of incapacity for you will depend on your own personal circumstances.

Own occupation provides the most comprehensive cover as you won’t be asked to do any other job, you’ll simply be able to claim if you’re unable to perform your usual role.

For this reason, an own occupation income protection policy is widely recommended by financial protection experts.

However, there are some cases where an own occupation policy may not be suitable.

For example, those with occupations that are considered higher risk may struggle to secure a policy with an own occupation definition.

In this instance, a suited tasks or any occupation policy may be more beneficial.

While these definitions of incapacity may be less straightforward for those with low risk jobs, for those with high risk jobs (for example, very manual and physically demanding jobs) the type of illness or injuries sustained may fit into these definitions.

Income protection isn’t a one size fits all product so it’s best to discuss your needs with an expert who can provide you with details of the most suitable options.

Reassured Advice can talk through your personal circumstances to help you find the right policy to meet all of your needs.

What’s the difference between any occupation and own occupation?

Any occupation and own occupation are both definitions of incapacity within an income protection policy.

While they may sound similar, there are some key differences to these definitions.

The main difference being that an own occupation policy is more likely to pay out than an any occupation policy.

This is because an own occupation income protection policy will allow you to claim when you’re unable to carry out your own occupation and its associated tasks.

Whereas an any occupation policy will require you to not be able to work in any occupation for a claim to be successful.

Any occupation Own occupation
Least comprehensive definition (provides a more basic level of cover) Most comprehensive definition (provides the highest level of cover)
Allows you to claim if you’re unable to carry out any occupation (this includes occupations that may not be your usual job) Allows you to claim when you can’t carry out your own occupation
Premiums can be more affordable Premiums can be marginally higher due to more comprehensive cover
May be more suited to those with higher risk occupations that may struggle to secure an own occupation policy or those who’re on a tight budget who want some form of cover in place Ideal for those who want a complete coverage solution


Speaking to an expert, like Reassured Advice, can help you to discover the right definition of incapacity for you.

Simply get in touch to speak to a friendly member of the team.

Do I need own occupation income protection?

While own occupation income protection provides the greatest level of cover, the income protection you need will be the policy that meets your needs and is at a price within your budget.

Particularly, own occupation income protection can be beneficial for those who:

  • Have a young family and want peace of mind that they’ll be protected if they’re unable to earn their usual income
  • Are self-employed and won’t benefit from having full sick pay to fall back on
  • Don’t have personal savings and would struggle to make ends meet without a steady monthly income

Policies with a less comprehensive definition of incapacity may have slightly lower premiums (due to the lower level of cover) so if you’re on a budget this it can be more appealing to opt for a suited tasks or any occupation policy.

Those with occupations that are considered to be more high risk (such as those with manual jobs) may not always be able to secure a policy with an own occupation definition and therefore may need to secure a policy with a suited tasks or any occupation policy.

Income protection applications are often judged on a case-by-case scenario and by speaking to an expert, such as Reassured Advice, you’ll be given the details of the policy that is most suited to your needs.

Reassured Advice can provide policies with own occupation, suited tasks and any occupation definitions of incapacity.

Is own occupation income protection more expensive?

As an own occupation income protection policy provides the most comprehensive cover, you may pay a slightly increased premium compared to a policy with another definition.

This is because making a claim on an own occupation policy is the most straightforward, as you’ll be able to claim if you’re unable to do your specific job role - you won’t be asked to perform any other jobs.

Other key factors, regarding your policy and personal circumstances, will also contribute towards how much you pay for your monthly premium, these include:

  • The length of your policy
  • The length of your pay out period
  • The length of your deferred period (or waiting period)^
  • Your age
  • Your occupation
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your health and wellbeing
  • Smoking status

Due to the different underwriting processes used, the price you pay may vary significantly between providers so it’s essential to compare quotes to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

It’s possible to secure income protection from as little as 20p-a-day through Reassured Advice.

^The waiting period is the time in between your first sick day from work and when your payments begin. This will be decided at the point of application

How much income protection insurance do you need?

Enter your monthly financial commitments to understand the level of income protection cover you require.

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£723 a month is the average monthly mortgage payment in the UK, with the average monthly rental price coming in at £700.

The majority of our monthly income will go towards rental or mortgage payments.

For this reason, it’s essential to have precautions in place to ensure you could keep up to date with your payments if you weren’t receiving your usual income.

Monthly income protection payments can help to cover this large expense and ensure you can stay in your home.

£
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According to the Money Advice Service, the average household spends £340 a month on household bills.

This includes electricity, gas, TV and broadband.

£
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Childcare costs are on the rise with it now costing £137.69 per week for part-time nursery for a child under the age of two.

That’s over £550 per month - is this an amount you’d be able to keep up with if you were unable to work?

Becoming ill could also result in the need for additional childcare while you attend doctors’ appointments or medical treatment.

£
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The average household in the UK spends around £97 a week on their food shop, totaling £388 a month.

While this may seem like a small amount in comparison to some of the other expenses mentioned, the food shop is often where we try to scrimp and save when we fall on hard times.

Income protection can take care of the cost of your weekly food shop, as well as many other essential costs.

£
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At the beginning of 2020, credit card debt in the UK was at £2.1 billion, with almost 27 million UK residents in some kind of debt.

Becoming unable to work could make it hard to keep up with credit card or loan payments (including car finance or other financed goods).

Failure to keep up with payments could result in additional interest being incurred or late fees issues - resulting in a higher total needing to be paid.

£
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The average spent on public transport each month comes to an average of £94.

This includes the cost of public transport, as well as petrol and diesel vehicles.

While this amount may reduce while you’re unable to work as you won’t need to commute there may be additional spending on public transportation if your illness or injury leaves you unable to drive.

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Your total cover estimate

£ 0

Let us find your best quotes.

What conditions does own occupation income protection cover?

Unlike some other forms of cover, income protection doesn’t have a specific list of illnesses or injuries listed within the policy.

This means you’re able to make a claim for any illness or injury that prevents you from working for a long period of time.

Common income protection claims include:

The only conditions you won’t be covered for are pre-existing medical conditions, self-inflicted injuries or any illness or injury that’s as a result of drug or alcohol misuse.

Own occupation income protection quotes

To find the best income protection insurance deal it’s essential to compare quotes.

You could conduct this research on your own or you could enlist the help of an expert, like Reassured Advice.

Reassured Advice can provide you with all the information you need about what options are available to you, as well as compare quotes on your behalf.

By doing this a friendly member of the team can find you a policy that meets all of your needs at a price within your budget.

Get in touch with Reassured Advice today for your free quotes.

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