One of the most popular employee benefits offered to employees is group life assurance, with nearly 10million employees covered by this benefit in the UK. Group life assurance makes a payment to an employee’s dependant(s) if the employee dies.
Figures released today show that for 2021 there was a significant increase (80%) in the amount paid out for COVID-19-related deaths compared with 2020, when £93m was paid. This is an interim statement prior to publication of GRiD’s full group claims statistics for 2021 later this year.
COVID-19 related group life assurance claims paid 1 January to 31 December 2021
On behalf of GRiD, Gen Re has collected data from group life providers identifying COVID-19 claims paid across all of 2021.
For the period 1 January to 31 December 2021, the dependants of employees with group life benefits have received pay outs totalling over £168.3m after losing their loved ones as a result of COVID-19. This represents 1,578 lump sum death benefit claims, plus the capitalised value of 24 dependants’ pension claims where COVID-19 has been recorded as the primary or secondary cause of death on the death certificate or reported on the claim form.
The average lump sum death benefit payment for COVID-19 claims was £100,387 and the average capitalised value of the dependants’ pensions paid for COVID-19 deaths was £410,950.
Losing the income of a loved-one can be financially catastrophic for people, and the payment of a group life assurance benefit provides a vital financial lifeline for dependants. It is one of the most tangible and practical employee benefits that can be offered by companies.
In addition to the financial payments, dependants also often get access to other support embedded within these benefits, such as bereavement counselling and guidance on probate, so they help people through what is a very challenging time.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: ‘Employees are increasingly looking to their employers to help them through the challenges they’ve faced during the pandemic, and this is for all areas of health and wellbeing, including financial. The figures released today represent hundreds of families that have been supported because of an employee benefit, and we’d encourage more employers to offer this to staff.’