There has been a significant increase in employee demand for all insurance benefits in the wake of the Covid crisis, according to new research.
Drewberry’s 2021 Employee Benefits Survey — which polled over 2,000 SME workers — found a 14 per cent increase in demand for life insurance cover, a 17 per cent increase for income protection and a 39 per cent increase for critical illness cover when compared to last year’s survey.
In total more than one it two respondents (51 per cent) wanted staff benefits that help them manage their health and wellbeing. This was a more popular option than training or education benefits (cited by 46.4 per cent of workers) and discounts or reward programmes (40 per cent).
When looking at the full range of employee benefits, flexible hours was the most sought after benefit, requested by 50 per cent of workers. This was followed by private medical insurance (35 per cent), work from home options (33.6 per cent), group life insurance (33 per cent) group CI cover (30.7 per cent), increased pension contributions (28.3 per cent) and then group income protection (27 per cent).
Drewberry points out that it seems likely that changes to working patterns over the last year, and increase fears around mortality and morbidity in the wake of the Covid criss have driven this demand. It points out that providing flexible hours does not cost employers anything so may be an ‘easy win’ when it comes to staff retention and recruitment.
It also said there had been an increase in demand for the add-on services typically provided by these group risk policies, with the biggest increase for virtual GP services.