The group risk industry paid out £2.21 billion in claims in 2022, a figure that is down by £12.3 million on the previous year.
Figures from Group Risk Development (Grid) show this is due to a significant drop on the number of group life insurance claims, which had increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The value of claims paid on both group income protection and group critical illness policies increased in 2022, when compared to the year before.
In total group life assurance policies paid out benefits to the value of £1.53bn in 2022, a decrease of £36.17m when compared to 2021. There were a total of 12,601 claims last year.
Group income protection policies paid out benefits worth £547.91m – an increase of £1.77m on the year before. There were 16,186 GIP claims in 2022.
Meanwhile group critical illness policies paid out £128.5m – an increase of £22.1m on 2021 figures. The industry recorded 1,774 GCI claims last year.
This data shows that the average value for a new claim in 2022 was £121,655 for group life insurance, £26,755 on a GIP policy and £72,427 for GCI.
Grid’s data showed that cancer was the main cause of claim across all group risk products, accounting for 37% of claims on group life products, 27% on GIP policies and 66% of GCI claims. Heart disease or heart attacks were the second main cause of new claims on group life and GCI policies (accounting for 14% and 9% of claims respectively); while mental illness was the second main cause of new claims on GIP policies – accounting for 18% of claims.
The Grid data showed that Covid-19 now accounted for just 3.7% of group life claims. This compared to 11.7% the year before. However Covid-related claims still account for 6.1% of GIP claims, only slightly down from the 7% recorded the year before, indicating that long Covid continues to be an issue in the workplace.
Across these group risks products Grid recorded 261,631 ‘interactions’ with the various support services offered on these policies. This includes virtual GPs and EAP services. A total of 27% of these involved access to counselling, 13% were related to illness and 5% to legal issues.
In addition to claims paid under GIP policies, Grid said that a total of 5,6541 employees were helped back to work within the same year following a period of sickness absence.
In total 99.5% of new group life claims were paid 2022. In contrast just 75.7% of GIP claims were paid and 77.7% of GCI claims.
Grid spokesperson Katharine Moxham said: “Once again, our claims stats give a material figure which shows just how much employers and employees gain from group risk benefits: financially, physically and emotionally. No other benefits pay out as much, or offer such good value, which is why we’re seeing their popularity grow year on year.”