Protection  

Group protection market is growing

He added: "Therefore, there is a trend towards these arrangements being re-engineered as lump sum registered group life policies."

During the survey, many participants flagged the uncertainty caused by Brexit and the impact that had on the market.

Employee benefit consultants reported to Swiss Re that many employers were putting large financial decisions aside — whether that be to add or change risk benefits — until there was greater clarity in the market.

The report stated businesses were struggling to manage short-term issues and in general, were not committing to longer-term plans such as group insurance policies.

Tim Stoves, managing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: "It’s great news that the market continues to grow and now covers 12.9m people, which is over a third of the UK workforce.

"To see such growth in challenging times is a testament to the hard work of all the providers and advisers to bring these products to as many people as possible."

Johnny Timpson, chair of the Access to Insurance Working Group, agreed the continued growth in workplace protection coverage was welcome news.

He added: "It is especially pleasing given the record number of people in work in the UK, including a record number of women and people with disabilities in work.

"The accessibility of group risk insurance and small number of cases requiring initial underwriting makes the provision of cover an especially valuable benefit for employees with pre-existing health conditions and disabilities who may find it difficult to access individual cover.

"The availability of cover via the workplace is also an ideal way of tackling both the UK gender and generation rent protection gaps, both of which have been highlighted repeatedly by Scottish Widows research and that of other offices."

imogen.tew@ft.com