‘Group life assurance’ most hated group risk product name

Group risk products should be renamed to more engaging alternatives to make them more understandable and likely to be bought, research from Canada Life Group Insurance suggests.

‘Group life assurance’ has been identified as the least popular name of all group risk products, with just 4 per cent of employees polled wanting to keep it, while 37 per cent preferred ‘group life assurance’ and identical proportion liked ‘employee death benefit’, with ‘death in service benefit’ backed by 26 per cent of employees polled.

Just 11 per cent approved of ‘group income protection’, compared to 43 per cent who preferred ‘long-term sickness salary’ and 32 per cent who preferred ‘sick pay support’.

Group critical illness cover was also only backed by 11 per cent, with 51 per cent preferring ‘serious illness support’.

Thinking about the name of the group risk industry as a whole, respondents stated that, out of the options provided in the survey, ‘employee health and life support industry’ was the most popular, while ‘employee insurance industry’ attracted the support of 38 per cent, with ‘employee protection industry’ on 33 per cent. A fifth of employees – 19 per cent – said none of the suggestions provided would make these products more understandable.

Canada Life Group Insurance marketing director Paul Avis says: “It is clear to us that the industry needs to seriously consider how it is presented to the public, to make it clear to employers why they should find budget to purchase the benefits and help employees understand the value of the benefits being provided for them. While there is still a long way to go to discover the most widely understood descriptions, it is vital that the industry acknowledges the confusion which can be caused by something we all take for granted, but is crucial in communicating our worth to potential customers – the very name of what we are selling!

“This review is especially important now the financial benefits are being augmented by the support services we all now offer to help drive the best possible customer outcomes. It will be challenging, taking complex, technical and value-laden products and making them readily understandable, but this research is a starting point. I hope this is also the start of an industry debate as to how we can begin to address the woeful under-penetration of all of our products in the employer market.”

Top three alternatives for each product

Group Life Assurance %
Employee life insurance 37%
Employee death benefit 37%
Death in service benefit 26%
Group Income Protection
Long-term sickness salary 43%
Sick pay support 32%
Extended sick pay 25%
Group Critical Illness
Serious illness support 50%
Employee illness support 33%
Health condition support 23%