What are some of the key benefits of a group policy for businesses and organisations?
Some of the key reasons include:
- Maintain a good relationship with employees. Keep existing employees happy.
- Attracting quality workers. Added incentives can help attract talent.
- Can help workers rehabilitate. Allow workers to get back into the workforce sooner
- Tax benefits. Premiums paid can be expensed as a tax deduction.
Group income protection insurance is a regular monthly benefit of up to 75% of the workers income paid in the event they are unable to work following an accident or illness. This will cover injuries and illnesses that occur both:
- Inside work
- Outside work
Group income protection insurance provides employers a device to pay their employees part of their monthly income while they recover for work.
Group Income Protection Insurance is available for:
- Employees that have been offered income protection cover by their employers. This may also include contract workers.
- Members of group super funds
- Australian residents or visa holders
- Resides in Australia and employed for at least 15 hours a week on permanent basis
Generally, group income protection is like a safety net for employers to help cover for their employees. Features may vary from provider to provider, but there are certain features generic to all group income protection policies.
- A variety of options for waiting periods. A waiting period is a time a claimant has to wait before receiving the payment for the benefits. Employers are given the choice how long the waiting period will be after a claim. Payment could begin after 13, 26, 28, 41, 52, or 104 weeks. The trick there is the longer the deferred period is the lower premium you pay.
- Benefit payment terms option. This sets the length of time how long an employee can receive the payment for benefits. Most funds offer benefit periods of 2 years, 5 years and to age 70.
- Lump sum options. Employees can choose to receive a monthly pay-out or lump sum. This would depend on the need of each member. A lump sum can be useful to finance an employee’s early retirement.
- Protection against inflation. Through the escalation option, income protection is protected from inflation. This guarantees that any benefit will increase over time at a fixed rate or in line with the Consumer Price Index (RPI) which could reach a maximum limit of 5%.
- Employee Assistance Program. Along with other additional benefits, the Employee Assistance Program or EAP has been added in most health insurance policies to help employees express and deal with their personal problems which could have adverse effects on their overall performance at work. This feature provides short-term counselling, assessment and support to employees.
Group income protection insurance works both ways for the employers and their employees. When employees know that their employers care for their well-being, they become more productive at work. In turn, increased productivity means bigger profits for the employers. Below are more benefits the employer and the employee have from having group income protection.
|Benefits for employers||Benefits for employees|
If you are currently a policy holder with your employers group protection or a policy inside your superannuation fund then it's important to regularly assess your cover. Some key areas to look at:
- Benefit period. Think about how long your income protection will be paid out in the event of a claim.
- Amount insured. It's a good idea to assess the amount you have covered and if it's enough to cover your households basic needs.
- Price relative to a non-group policy with similar benefits. Check out standalone policies that offer the same benefits (e.g. benefit periods and sum insured) and compare their prices to how much you contribute to your group policy.
There are additional benefits each policy has depending on the insurance company. Typically, the cost of premiums for group policies depend on the employer (as they will decide on a standardised type of cover that's provided.
Business factors that affect the cost of income protection
On an organisational level, the factors that come into play are the:
- Level of cover decided by the business
- Length of cover decided by the business
- The waiting period as decided by the business