Payouts by group risk providers rose by over 10 per cent in 2015, with £1.4bn being paid out to a total of 24,603 UK families, according to industry data compiled by Group Risk Development (Grid).
The claims stats show an increase in all benefits paid out. Group life policies paid out around £1bn, an increase of £130.1m, while group income protection policies paid out £347m, an increase of £9m and group critical Illness payouts totalled £62.6m, an increase of £5.9m.
Grid says a further 1,878 people were able to go back to work over the period as a result of GIP interventions such as fast-track access to counselling or physiotherapy, before becoming eligible for a monetary payment.
For the first time, the average claim amount for Group Life has gone over £100,000, with the average claim standing at £111,055 in 2015.
The main cause of claim across all three products was cancer – unchanged from last year -with the highest proportion of claims for group critical illness, where cancer was responsible for 69 per cent of claims, followed by group life where it caused 47 per cent of claims and group income protection where it was a key factor in 24 per cent of claims.
Grid spokesperson Katharine Moxham says: “These figures bring a truly unique insight into the collective contribution the group risk industry makes to supporting British families. The fact that 1,878 people were helped back to work within 6 months also clearly demonstrates the value that insurers add beyond the pure payment of claims.
“Employers are not obliged to provide any of these benefits, but by doing so they make a major contribution towards protecting employees and their families against the financial consequences of death or prolonged disability. Through this, they also ultimately benefit wider society by reducing the welfare burden.
“The main causes for claims are also interesting and can help dictate where support might be focused. For instance preventative care and screening can play an important role in the detection and treatment of cancer and heart disease: two of the main reasons for claiming. In addition, there is a wealth of support available within group risk products for mental health. We would encourage early utilisation of all group risk services to make the most of the support available.”