A new study from Yorkshire Building Society says the average British adult would survive debt-free for 52 days if they were not able to work.
Over a third of people (36 per cent) have savings of less than £500 – equating to 11 days’ living expenses, the research said.
The building society also highlighted 90 per cent of people do not have income protection in case income is stopped due to reasons such as illness or redundancy.
It points out more people have life insurance to provide after death than have protection for life.
“In the current economic climate, this research paints an extremely alarming picture for those consumers without any protection products in place,” said Tanya Jackson, corporate affairs manager.
Divorced people are the most vulnerable to the savings gap and will survive for an average of 35 days, while widowed people could rely on their savings for 120 days without worrying about bankruptcy or running up credit card debt.
Earlier this month, Fool.co.uk urged people to prepare for the predicted recession.
By Morwenna Kearns