Group risk market sees record growth

Group risk market sees record growth

2023 saw another year of record growth for the group risk market, according to latest figures from Swiss Re’s annual Group Watch report. This makes these benefits – Group Income Protection, Group Critical Illness Cover and Group Life Assurance – some of the most popular employee benefits offered by companies, commented Katharine Moxham, Spokesperson for the industry body GRiD.

“The number of employees insured under group risk policies (15.3m) now exceeds half the payrolled population, which is a step-change in itself given the steady increase in employment to higher than pre-pandemic levels,” added Katharine.

She continued: “It also demonstrates that employers increasingly see the value of what we do as an industry – not just in terms of financial protection for when the worst happens, but also the extra support services we make available to employers and employees alike.”

Group Life Assurance
For Group Life Assurance, the number of members reported under Registered & Excepted lump sum death benefits schemes rose 579,083 (5.5%), taking the number of people covered to 11,083,680, according to Swiss Re Group Watch data. The insured benefits under these arrangements increased by 12.9%, taking the total insured benefits to £1,781,573,066.

Group Income Protection
The number of members covered under Long-Term Disability Income (or Group Income Protection) schemes increased by 201,377 (6.6%) taking the total number of people covered to 3,255,185. Insured benefits under these schemes increased by 12.5%, to £124,877,714,627.

Group Critical Illness
The number of members reported under Group Critical Illness schemes was up by 164,817 (22.4%), taking the number of people covered to 901,387. Insured benefits reported under Group Critical Illness schemes increased by 14.2%, to £64,283,622.

2024 predictions for GIP
Swiss Re Group Watch also includes comments from employee benefits consultants on expectations for 2024. These report that, while market challenges remain, further growth is expected, with “lots of enquiries from clients looking to extend income protection to previously uninsured categories of employees. Employers are becoming aware of the benefits both to the employee, but also to them as an employer, of having an income protection scheme in place.”

Tracey Ward, Head of Business Development & Marketing at Generali UK Employee Benefits, commented: “This latest data helps demonstrate the ever-growing value and relevance of group risk, in a world where pressures on physical, emotional, financial and social wellbeing just seem to grow. This, due to a combination of factors, not least of which is a lingering cost-of-living crisis, unrelenting pressure on public health and benefit systems, and changing expectations of what ‘good work’ looks like. It’s for all these reasons – and more – that Generali has undergone a huge digital transformation over recent years, to evolve our propositions and help meet and exceed client expectations. Additionally, at Generali UK, we’ve been busy assessing everything we do with the Consumer Duty rules in mind to ensure the highest standards of consumer support and protection. We look forward to discussing our enhanced products and services with our valued broker partners, as we recommence quoting for new business with 1 January 2025 commencement dates."