Clare Bettelley: Education on the value of group risk benefits is lacking

The value of an insurance policy is often only realised when it is too late, and group risk benefits are no exception.


The insurance-based benefits are commonly missed when an employee is forced to take extended sick leave and faces not being paid for the duration of this leave, or when an employee dies and fails to make financial provisions for the family they have left behind.

Benefits teams need to devise a comprehensive communications campaign to fully explain what group risk benefits are and how they can each support employees, as well as ensure that they understand what is required of them and when. For example, benefits professionals should ensure that employees understand that they need to complete an ‘expression of wishes’ form for their group life policy, in order to ensure that their insurer pays the employee’s individual of choice if they die, which may not necessarily be their next of kin.One of the primary causes of these predicaments is a lack of workplace communication about group risk support by employers. Granted, these are not the cheeriest of benefits to communicate, but the consequences of not having them in place can be devastating.

Communication around group risk benefits is particularly important as the industry begins to innovate and offer greater value for money. Value-added services now include employee assistance programmes, health checks, second opinions from health specialists, counselling, bereavement support and probate helplines, which could all prove invaluable to employees in need.

But different insurers offer different services, so employers need to ensure that they fully research their preferred providers when making a new appointment. As part of this due diligence, employers need to ensure that their selected provider fits their culture and understands their long-term objectives in light of their workforce needs.

Clare Bettelley
Associate Editor
Employee Benefits