Legal & General paid out £323m in group protection claims last year, an 5 per cent increase on 2019 figures.
The data published by the insurer indicates its focus on rehabilitation and ensuring claimants get back to work. L&G says that almost one in three (29.7 per cent) of GIP claimants in the UK returning to work within the deferred period were supported by a L&G policy.
When it comes to mental health claims, L&G says that 92 per cent of its GIP claimants were able to return to work within the deferred period – a 9 per cent increase on last year’s figures.
For musculoskeletal claims 82 per cent of L&G’s GIP claimants returned to work within the deferred period – a 12 per cent year-on-year increase.
L&G says this increase is due to investment in rehabilitation and early intervention services that are focused on individual employees and personalised care pathways.
In 2020, the insurer set up almost 2,500 sessions for claimants suffering from physical and mental health conditions with its physiotherapy and psychological healthcare partners.
Legal & General also added a Long Covid support package to its range of services last year. This kicks in following an absence of four to six weeks, filling a void in NHS services, which are only accessible from 12 weeks onwards.
Vanessa Sallows, claims and governance director for Legal & General Group Protection says: “The success of our person-centred active intervention and rehabilitation philosophy can be seen in the year on year increases in our return-to-work performance figures.”
She adds: “The pandemic has shown to business leaders that the wellbeing of people is paramount to organisational success.
“Our individually tailored care pathways give employers the reassurance of having expert support to hand, while also minimising the cost of absence and removing the burden of trying to deal with a complex and multi-faceted challenge.”
Sallows adds that the insurer was also “highlighting” the need not to medicalise normal stress reactions to the adverse events of the last year, such as pandemic-related anxiety, and said this may not qualify as a valid GIP claim.
“Such reactions – where the situation could be improved by removing the stressor – do not necessarily constitute GIP claims: every claim is different and assessed individually in the relevant context.”
She says GIP has a strong role to play in preventative healthcare. “There’s a strong case for making better use of all the support we have in place to help employees that are not ill. Encouraging employees to make use of these services helps to prevent short term problems from becoming long term.”
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