Income Protection Cover More Affordable Than You Think
Written by: Jamie Hart
With the state retreating further and further in its support for people who are unable to work due to illness or injury there is a huge gap to be filled and the Group Risk industry continues in its quest to have its voice heard and highlight the vital importance company funded or company supported income protection is in helping fill this gap.
Many of us do not realise what would really happen if we were forced to undertake a sustained period of absence due to illness or injury. In the short term we would receive sick pay from our employer, although many employers will only pay statutory sick pay for the obligatory 28 weeks. Then what happens if you are still unable to return to work? State benefit kicks in, if you are entitled to benefit you are likely to only receive around £5,300 a year. Imagine trying to keep your head above water and support your family on that. It is estimated that 8.5 million households would only be able to last a week on their savings.
The good news is that more and more employers are recognising this. 1 in 10 private sector workers now have income protection. Group Risk Development (GRiD) research shows that 60% of employers accept that they have a greater role to play in protecting the health and welfare of their staff in the form of income protection policies. These are encouraging figures but there still remains a perception that Group Income Protection insurance eats into your budget. Typical costs are less than 1% of payroll, yet 60% of employers believe it will cost them more, with 9% thinking it will cost them in excess of 10%.
So for employers income protection is affordable, you are fulfilling your care of duty but of course as an employer you still want to see a return in your investment. Providers have developed significantly in the field of rehabilitation and supporting employees in returning to work. Last year, group risk providers helped 1,878 people back to work with active intervention before they reached the point of making a claim for group income protection payments. Valued employees are returning to work motivated and you are not spending time and money on replacing or retraining new staff.
Group risk providers have worked hard to deliver value and to offer supportive services that complement their insurance offering. Each provider will offer a blend of different services but, generally, group risk products offer up support such as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), HR and legal advice, second medical opinion services, online health assessments, mental health first aid training, absence management, occupational rehabilitation and fast-track access to counselling and physiotherapy.
Helm Godfrey continues to work with both our existing clients and new clients to develop efficient and cost effective income protection solutions. If you would like to know more or would like us to help you look at your current provisions please contact us.
HSBC Opinion Matters Survey (all figures based on ONS data, 2014 Group Risk Development (GRiD)
Helm Godfrey are a member of GRiD
Founded in 1998, Group Risk Development (GRiD) aims to promote and enhance the status and uptake of corporate group protection benefits on behalf of its members within the UK insurance, reinsurance and adviser markets.
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