Group income protection is the fastest growing product line in group risk, increasing the number of employees covered by 7 per cent in 2019 to over 2.6 million employees, according to the Workplace Protection & Wellbeing Report 2020 from Corporate Adviser Intelligence, published this week.
The number of employees covered by group life grew by 4.2 per cent in 2019, meaning nearly 10 million employees are now covered.
The 64-page report, which shows market share for providers offering group risk, group PMI and cash plans, found Canada Life Group Insurance remains the largest group life provider, although Aviva’s faster rate of growth means it is closing in on the top spot.
MetLife UK is the fastest-growing group life provider, adding 130,000 lives in 2019.
AIG Life saw the biggest proportionate increase in the sector, growing its group life book by 24 per cent, albeit from a lower base.
Unum extended its lead as the biggest group income protection (GIP) provider by employees covered, growing its book by 6 per cent in 2019, although its figures covered 15 months, not 12. Legal & General covered more new employees than any other provider, adding over 53,000 employees to its book.
Canada Life Group Insurance remains the biggest group critical illness (GCI) provider, although it shed 7.5 per cent of its book.
Bupa is the biggest group private medical insurance (group PMI) provider, insuring 753,000 employees, followed by Aviva and Axa PPP Healthcare, both covering around 600,000 employees. VitalityHealth has added 40,000 new members in 2019. Group PMI now covers more than 2.3 million employees in the UK.
Health Shield remains the biggest corporate cash plan provider in the UK, but a 10 per cent 2019 surge in business from Westfield Health has made it a very close second. Bupa UK has shed over 16 per cent of its corporate cash plan book. Active cash plan providers sharing data grew their corporate books by over 9 per cent collectively.
Westfield Health has the highest claims-per-employee ratio, paying out 2.34 claims per employee covered.
Intermediary research conducted for the report found wellbeing services are the product type advisers think have given employers the highest return on investment through the Covid-19 lockdown, followed by GIP and group life.
Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are seen by advisers as the most useful support service to employees through lockdown, followed by mental health support and virtual GP services.
Corporate Adviser editor John Greenwood says: “The report paints a picture of a workplace protection sector that had been going from strength to strength in 2019. Since then, through lockdown, protection and wellbeing services have been more important than ever. Last year’s growth means more employees’ families than ever have benefited from the support services and protection offered by workplace protection products. It remains to be seen how the sector fares through the rest of the year and into 2021, but awareness of the value of protection products has never been higher, and the trend towards digital has accelerated.”
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