DOD’s blog: Long live group risk insurance

Debi O'Donovan, editor, Employee Benefifts

There is nothing more exciting than insurance, surely?This week has been group risk-tastic, with two events dedicated to the topic. Lucky you, I hear you all chant!

Seriously though, group risk is a market ripe for innovation. It hasn’t exactly kept pace with changing workforce demographics and needs for some time (perhaps it has been mired in trying to sort out its admin problems, an ongoing challenge).

I believe that group risk insurances are incredibly valuable as an employee benefit.

But something must be wrong when such a valuable benefit is in relatively low demand by so many employers and employees.

The two events I attended really got me thinking about group risk innovation.

On Wednesday, Punter Southall Health and Protection Services launched a group life assurance product that should shake up thinking on what life assurance means as an employee benefit.

I do not say this lightly. This product turns group life assurance on its head by allowing employees with this benefit to get a payout on the death of a partner.

On Tuesday, at the Employee Benefits/MetLife group risk roundtable, we discussed how the workplace is rapidly changing. Group income protection is aimed at conventional 9-5 employees, yet, today, many organisations have contract workers, staff with elderly dependents, expatriates, staff well over the age of 65 and so on.

In addition, the wellbeing, absence, stress and rehabilitation needs when you have five generations in one workplace, are diverse and changing rapidly.

I don’t have all the answers (if only I did!), but with all the new thinking on wellbeing, new technology and the changing work environment surely this is a great time to think differently. We need more group risk insurers to come up with variations and flexibility on group risk benefits to make it more appealing and more relevant to more people.

Here’s to the rise of group risk.

Debi O’Donovan


Employee Benefits 

Twitter: @DebiODonovan