The biggest challenge facing the UK’s group risk industry is getting more employers to take up group death benefits and income protection schemes.
Swiss Re’s report, Group Watch 2008, which received contributions from 14 individuals working for product providers and 21 people working for intermediary firms, says that more should be done to communicate the value of these schemes as employee benefits.
Although there has been a 5.2% rise in annual market premiums across all three groups of risk business, the report †highlights that group risk perks have has to be attractive to employers in order to arrest or reverse the net decline in the number of group death benefit and income protection schemes.
Providers and intermediaries welcome the changes due under the Welfare Reform Act 2007, due to come into effect in October. Co-author of the report Ron Wheatcroft said these: “could grow the market”.†
“It is vital the market responds to the opportunities presented by the upcoming welfare reforms. In particular, this means adapting the design of income protection products, along with making clear to employers how group risk can present affordable solutions for the ultimate benefit of employees”, he added.