Canada Life Group Insurance’s Paul Avis explains how to get the best value from a group risk product
At Canada Life Group Insurance we believe that there is much more to insurance than simply providing a financial benefit and product. Group risk claims do not happen every day, so we aim to provide employers with the maximum level of value and engagement throughout the policy year. This includes additional services that can be used on a daily basis not only by employees but often by their immediate family members too at no charge to them. Working with our third-party suppliers, we have a clear commitment to make sure our non-financial benefits are enjoyed by employees and their family members, both pre- and post-claim. To demonstrate this commitment, we have a dynamic, active, employee and employer communications programme. This includes webcasts, posters, guides, case studies, leaflets and bulletins, all available on our website or through subscribing to our mailing alerts. So what do we offer?
As the market leaders in group life we recognise that setting up a scheme correctly is crucial in order to obtain the best tax advantages, which requires having the suitable trust documentation. We therefore provide a range of draft trust documentation on our website that can be used to establish your scheme, although we always recommend you seek legal advice to ensure that this documentation is suitable for you. In addition to the payment of a lump sum and/or a death in service pension on the death of an employee, we think a bit wider, as this can be a difficult time for the employee’s family and relatives, and offer:
• A 24/7 bereavement telephone helpline for the deceased family available 365 days a year which features up to four face-to-face counselling sessions.
• A probate helpline to help deal with family disputes, validity of wills, creditors, obtaining probate and power of attorney.
Group income protection
Alongside paying a financial benefit for long-term absences to enable salary continuance, we want to ensure the best possible outcome for the employee, so our group income protection product offers:
• Case management and in-house vocational rehabilitation available from two weeks’ absence. 25% of Canada Life Group Insurance employees work in our claims area and we have a clear ambition that the quality of support is never compromised. We appreciate the complexity and emotional nature of employee health.
• Unlimited access to a medically trained, vastly experienced, locally based rehabilitation team, at no extra cost.
• Regional claims management consultants who work closely with employers on every claim, ensuring clear communication of specific case decisions, progress and forecasting of likely absence durations.
Uniquely, all of the following services are offered to all employees, whether in the income protection scheme or not. This means you can actively promote them (using our ongoing communications programme) in your workplace. Our ambition is to make sure that as many employees and employers as possible make the most of what we offer.
• EmployeeCare, our 24/7 employee assistance programme (EAP) offers up to four face-to-face counselling sessions (per employee per issue per annum).
• An online health risk assessment and health portal to support health and wellbeing initiatives in the workplace.
• Second medical opinion service (provided by Best Doctors) to support decisions on diagnosis and treatment. This has been proven to support clinical path decision making which can also reduce the need for medical treatments.
To support preventative health and wellbeing, a quarterly report is available where either the EAP or Best Doctors is used in total 10 times in a quarter. Our group income protection product also offers two further levels of support to organisations themselves. BusinessCare offers online document creation for employment, health & safety and business management and a 24/7 employer helpline to discuss specific workplace scenarios: this can help control legal services costs.
Group critical illness
Our group critical illness product makes a financial payment on diagnosis from a set of nominated conditions but also offers:
• The ‘Best Doctors’ second medical opinion service to employees and family members (insured members only).
• Unlimited access for critical illness claimants to the Red Arc nurse-led service which provides unlimited ongoing practical and emotional support – a unique complement to Best Doctors.
• Procedural support for employees through a claims helpline.
• A dynamic, online, condition-based claims guide for potential claimants that can sit on flexible benefit platforms or the intranet.
Finally, a point on the support you can expect from us. We insure almost 2.75m employees and 21,000 employers. We have not compromised on quality and we have leveraged our economies of scale to deliver the best services we can through the suppliers we have chosen. All have been through a thorough due diligence assessment and have longstanding relationships with Canada Life Group Insurance. There is much more to our Group Risk offering than the purely financial aspects of an insurance product.