The group risk market insures 610,045 people for benefits totalling £44.1 billion*.

Group life

Group Life assurance provides a benefit on an employee’s death in service. This can be a lump sum payable to nominated beneficiaries or, more rarely, a taxable pension payable to the employee’s dependants, or even both.

Group Life insurance is one of the most simple and cost-effective, but most highly valued employee benefits that a company can offer its staff. It is often also referred to as Death in Service benefit, although it’s important to note that the death does not need to occur at work for an insurance claim to be valid.

If an employee were to die unexpectedly, group life cover can help ensure employee dependents receive financial assistance – relieving money worries at a very difficult and often the worst possible time.

It can assist in attracting and retaining talent within your business, while at the same time demonstrating your duty of care and promoting your company culture as a caring and altruistic employer.

The employer defines categories of scheme membership with clear eligibility definitions so there is no ambiguity in terms of who is covered.

Benefits are normally based on the employee’s earnings (up to a maximum multiple of annual salary) or as fixed lump sum amounts, and these can be tailored to meet an employer’s specific Demands & Needs, and those of their staff.

It is unlikely that employees will need to provide any kind of medical information to join the policy. However, it may be needed in certain specific circumstances, such as if an individual’s benefits package or salary is particularly high.

Trustee(s) are appointed by the employer and can be a group of people, or a company. They are responsible for administering the policy, establishing the beneficiary in the event of a claim, and making payment to the beneficiary, or beneficiaries, if a successful claim is made.

Insurers usually pay a lump sum benefit to the delegated Trustees of the scheme (in most cases the sponsoring Employer), usually by bank transfer. The Trustees can then choose whatever method they think is best to pass the money to the intended beneficiary. This is most commonly done by bank transfer or cheque.

As the benefit is provided by the employer for their employees, the employees will no longer be covered if they leave the company and/or reach the agreed termination age of the scheme.

Group schemes can start from as little as three lives.

Generally, premiums paid by an employer can be offset against corporation tax and are not regarded as a P11d benefit in kind for employees.