Income Protection 

Corporate clients can bridge protection gap

This article is part of
Guide to income protection

Corporate clients can bridge protection gap

Corporate clients with even small workforces can bring more people under the cover of group income protection. 

According to Jeff Woods, business development director at Sesame Bankhall Group: "Employers can play an important role by making information available so people fully appreciate the financial consequences of ill health."

Mr Woods adds: "Employers can also put a group income protection (GIP) scheme in place to help their employees receive financial support for longer.

"This, in turn, has a positive knock-on effect by enabling employees to more readily afford their own personal cover, over and above what their employer provides."

Expense

Group income protection is not as expensive as your corporate clients may think.

In 2016, research carried out among more than 500 UK employers by Group Risk Development (Grid) found 60 per cent of employers thought having a form of group insurance would cost a significant proportion of payroll. 

Some 9 per cent thought it could be more than 10 per cent of payroll.

In fact, on average across the UK, the costs for group income protection are less than 1 per cent of payroll and can be as little as 0.25 per cent.

In real terms, according to a recent government green paper, the Department of Work & Pensions has stated the average cost of group income protection was approximately £250 to £450 an employee each year.

Katharine Moxham, spokesman for Grid, comments: "Employers have a pivotal role to play in helping people to access affordable income protection.

"If employers do not currently provide group income protection to their staff, they should review it now. It can provide financial support when it is most needed, and is much more affordable for businesses to provide than they realise."

And it can be far more expensive to an employer to lose a key member of staff or hire cover for them than the cost of cover, says Paul Litster, managing director of Specialists4Protection.

He explains how, according to data published by the UK government in February 2014, as many as 960,000 workers were on leave each year for a month or more.

"This, coupled with the fact many employers only pay their staff full wages for a relatively short length of time when they are off sick, means there is a huge need for such a policy.

"Employers of all sizes need to be aware of the benefits such policies can bring, not just to set themselves apart as an employer of choice, but to ensure loyalty and commitment from their workforce."

Grid's Ms Moxham adds: "There's more than just financial support for employees. Group income protection focuses as much on sickness prevention and early prevention."

Benefit

The government itself has seen the benefit of using the workforce as a means to close the UK's protection gap.

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