What is Group Income Protection?
Also known as ‘Permanent Health Insurance’ or ‘Long Term Disability Insurance’. Group Income Protection provides a replacement income if an employee is unable to work due to an accident, long-term illness or injury.
Employees are typically covered for a % of salary (up to 80% in The UK and 75% in Ireland) with deductions equivalent to State paid benefits available. A ‘Deferred Period’ (the waiting period before the policy pays a benefit – typically 4, 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks) is selected at outset. This can enable payments to commence in line with Occupational Sick Pay/Sick Pay Insurance/Short Term Disability Insurance, offered by the employer.
The design of this benefit has changed over the years with continuing changes to State benefits and the increase in employers allowing employees to ‘flex’ levels of cover up or down. Traditionally payments would run to the employee’s retirement age, but there is a growing trend for employers to offer policies which pay out for a limited term period (eg 2 or 5 years), either with or without a lump sum payment at the end. This enables employers to offer the benefit and take advantage of all the additional services that are included whilst controlling costs and headcount.
What else is included?
Group Income Protection typically provides employers with access to rehabilitation services that help employees return to work.
Most insurers embed ‘Added Value Services’ into their product (there is no additional charge) and these may include;
- Employee Assistance Programme (including Face to Face Counselling)
- Access to ‘Early Intervention Service’
- Second Medical Opinion
- Treatment Sourcing for Private Healthcare where this is not already insured
- Line Manager Training around Mental Health / Musculoskeletal / Cancer issues
- Gym Discounts
- Wellness Matched Funding
As an employer, use of these services can;
- Help with your Duty of Care around Mental Health in the workplace
- Encourage the right behaviours for your staff
- Fit with your employer brand
- Help to promote work/life balance
- Be a great platform for employer engagement
The cost for Group Income Protection Life can be as little as 0.25% of payroll where payments are made for a limited period. Premiums paid are tax deductable and treated as a business expense and this is not a taxable benefit for the employee
Directors, Partners and employees can all be insured and in most cases are able to take advantage of the ‘Free Cover Limits’ offered (the Free Cover Limit is a level of cover offered by the insurer without the requirement for medical questions)
How we can help
Eppione are able to help businesses set up Group Income Protection/Long Term Disability in both the UK and Ireland. We can help you to decide on a specification for cover so that the policy best suits your company’s objectives and employee demographic and is in line with local benchmarking.
We work on a global basis so can arrange cover in other countries if required. Where a business has a footprint in more than one country, consideration will be given to reducing premium costs by ‘pooling’ multiple policies.
We are independent brokers and can review all insurers. We also advise employers who have existing schemes in place and can check the compliance of a current policy, that cover is adequate for your needs and that the premium you are paying is competitive.
Our online HR and Employee Benefits platform can help your business to thrive by offering flexible benefits to your employees enabling them to choose benefits that are best suited to their needs.