The world can be a rather scary place.
Major disasters happen across the globe on a regular basis, and the 24/7 news culture ensures that each such incident is magnified by replaying the footage time and time again. Statistically however the risk to the average UK employee remains (thankfully) rather small. Yet employers should still ensure that their insurances and procedures are robust to cater for such a horrible eventuality.
Many employers would rightly point to their provision of Group Life Assurance cover as their response to the above. Such cover is often a multiple of salary, and is of course paid in the event of a death of an employee covered by such a scheme. Employers could therefore be forgiven for thinking that they have done their bit to provide for the employee’s dependents in the event of an unexpected death.
Yet for many there may be another layer of cover to explore. Group Life policies are often subject to “event” limits, which restrict the maximum exposure of the insurer to any one catastrophic incident. Below is an explanation of what this means in practice from insurer Canada Life’s website. A catastrophe is defined for this purpose as:
“One originating cause, event or occurrence or a series of related originating causes, event or occurrences resulting in the deaths of four or more members, irrespective of where or when the member dies.”
Such a limitation could apply to a major industrial accident, travel disaster, or terror attack. Yet the reality is that many employers have not reviewed – or are not aware of – such a clause within their Group Life policy.
So we would encourage all employers to review their Group Life event limits again to ensure that they are suitable and appropriate. This is particularly important for employers with significant concentrations of risk. Examples of this may be an office/business location in a high risk area, or grouping a number of employees on the same flight whilst on business travel.
This is an important item to include in your regular review of Group Risk policies. If you need guidance please speak to your usual Jelf consultant to ensure that all such risks have been disclosed, and that the cover in place is as comprehensive as the market will allow for your organisation.
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