About two thirds of claimants who returned to work using Legal & General's rehabilitation services in 2018 did so before having to claim on their group income protection policy.
According to the insurer, rehabilitation add ons in its group income protection policy helped 631 employees return to work within their deferred period — the period between a claimant going off work and their income payments commencing.
L&G said these figures accounted for 18 per cent of claimants in the UK that returned to work in the deferred period of their group income protection policies, where an employee’s income is covered by a policy taken out by their employer.
A further 269 clients were able to return to work outside the deferred period with the support of L&G’s services.
The figures from L&G also showed the provider paid a total of £292m in group protection claims in 2018 and that mental health issues continued to be the main reason for new claims in the year, accounting for 25 per cent of claims.
In fact, mental health issues have been the top cause of claims on L&G’s group income protection policies since 1999.
The provider said its rehabilitation services aim to help employees with physical and mental health illnesses to access treatment quickly as well as facilitate a faster return to work.
Vanessa Sallows, claims and governance director at L&G’s group protection, said: "These new figures clearly show the important role that L&G plays within the group protection industry.
"Paying a total of £292m in 2018 highlights the valuable financial support these policies can provide to our customers and their employees when they need it most.
"However, financial peace of mind is not the only benefit these policies can provide. Being unable to work due to illness or injury can be a frightening prospect for many people which is why we are dedicated to supporting these individuals through our market leading rehabilitation services."
Last month, the latest GRiD statistics showed that almost 5,600 employees were helped back to work after a period of sick leave and there were almost 75,500 interactions with rehabilitation services funded by group risk insurers.
Speaking at the time, Paul Avis, marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said not enough people were using such services provided by group risk policies.
He said that out of the 2.5m people covered under a group income protection scheme, only 3,551 returned to the workplace in 2018 before claiming.
He said: "With some insurers, employees can have access to a nurse on day one, which is especially useful for subjective, complex conditions. We have found that 95 per cent of people who use our early intervention services do not become claimants and are back in work normally within five to seven weeks.
"The majority of early intervention referrals are also covering illnesses that line managers find the most difficult to deal with in the office, such as stress, mental illness or back pain.