The total payouts of Covid-related group life benefits reached £125.7m in the first half of the year, exceeding the total from 2020 by 35 per cent.
According to research by Group Risk Development (Grid), group life benefits for Covid-19 related claims were £93m for the whole of 2020.
In the first half of 2021 the group risk industry supported 1,218 families of employees who died from Covid-19 with group life benefits. This was 35 per cent more than the 891 families that were supported during 2020.
Grid said a total of 6,688 lump sum death benefit claims were paid in H1 2021, of which 1,199 were Covid-related.
This equated to £750.2m being paid out, of which £117.6m was for Covid-related claims.
The average lump sum payment was £112,171 and for Covid-related claims this was slightly lower at £98,112.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Grid, said: “The financial hardship that can follow the death of a loved one can be devastating, and it can impact every area of mental and physical health and wellbeing of those left behind.
“Employers that offer group life assurance to their staff provide some of the best possible support for wider health and wellbeing.
"This is one of the most affordable employee benefits, and is also one of the most tangible, and this benefit would have been hugely valued by those that have been affected.”
The research found approximately 18 per cent of all group life claims paid by insurers during H1 2021 were related to Covid-19.
This is in line with data from the Office for National Statistics, which showed Covid-19 made up just under 20 per cent of all deaths in H1 2021 in the working-age population.
Moxham added: “The increase in payouts shows the impact that Covid-19 continues to have, and how important it is that companies offer employee benefits that provide financial support to their staff, particularly in light of Covid-19, and we urge all employers to consider offering it.”
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