Unum has launched a group life master trust for the workplace which it hopes will allow Britain's employers to close the protection gap.
Called the Excepted Group Life Policy master trust, the benefit is a simplified life insurance solution that allows Unum to write multiple group life policies under a single trust.
The idea is to help employers save time and money, and reduce the administrative burden that can be associated with the set-up, ongoing management and benefits payments of separate life insurance schemes.
Ambika Fraser, head of proposition at Unum UK, said by simplifying the employer experience with Excepted Group Life, Unum aims to make it easier for employers to offer this important financial protection to staff.
She explained: "Our long-term goal with group risk product enhancements is to help close the protection gap among UK workers."
Ms Fraser pointed to research carried out last year among employers by the Group Risk Development trade body (Grid), which found 46 per cent of employers did not offer group life insurance protection to their staff.
The same research found 24 per cent of employers who didn't offer group life insurance claimed it was too expensive to set up, and maintained they had no internal resource available to administer the benefit.
Ms Fraser added: "Grid's research indicates there’s a sizeable portion of the UK’s workforce that is under-protected. By streamlining the customer experience, we hope to increase the number of workers who have access to this important cover.
"The peace of mind of knowing that loved ones will be provided for in the event of untimely death is a valuable financial protection benefit that a company can offer its staff. Further, access to Unum Group Life Insurance provides employees access to Bereavement support and Employee Assistance Programmes."
Unum’s EGLP master trust has several benefits to employers, such as the fact it can be used immediately, without the need to set up a new trust, and there is no need for employers to appoint or act as trustees, as professional trustee services are provided as part of the master trust structure.
There is also no additional charge for using it. The trust is administered by PTL Governance Ltd.
Tim Parker, head of employee benefits for Pannells Financial Planning, said: "The master trust solution really helps employers put in place a solution that requires a minimal amount of administration and enables them to offer a valuable solution benefit with the minimum of fuss."
He said the sort of situations in which employers would like to have a master trust in place are becoming "the norm". He explained: "These allow employers to focus on running their businesses and enables them to streamline the implementation."
Referring specifically to Unum's new product, Mr Parker added: "Unum has put in place a solution that more providers should adopt. If a provider does not have the full range of options then it is putting itself at a disadvantage, especially as this market remains cost sensitive."