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Group Life Assurance

Group life assurance is the most common employer sponsored protection benefit in the UK and often represents the sole life insurance provision for low to middle income earners.

What is Group Life Assurance?

Group life assurance provides a benefit on an employee’s death in service. This can be a lump sum payable to nominated beneficiaries or a taxable pension payable to the employee’s dependants, or both.

Most group life assurance policies operate within HMRC’s regulatory framework for a ‘registered occupational pension scheme’. Lump sum death benefits can normally be paid tax free up to the Lifetime Allowance.

Generally, premiums paid by an employer can be offset against corporation tax and are not regarded as a benefit in kind.

Some facts and figures

The group risk market insures 9.88 million people for death benefits valued at 1.43 trillion pounds – Swiss Re Group Watch 2021.

The group risk industry paid out 11,592 death claims in 2020, valued at over £1.37 billion – GRiD 2021 Claims Survey.

The average claim was £118,244 and the main causes for claim were cancer (37%), heart disease (14%) and Covid-19 (8%) – GRiD 2021 Claims Survey.

A group life policy will often include some extra support services designed to help employers and employees alike on a daily basis – even if a claim is never made.

In total, there were 138,222 interactions during 2020 with the additional help and support services that are funded by group risk insurers, giving daily value to employers regardless of whether or not a claim was made under their policy – GRiD 2021 Claims Survey.

Expert advice should always be taken when setting up or reviewing a group risk insurance scheme to ensure that optimum cover is provided, any extra support services offered alongside the policy are used and all tax efficiencies are maximised.

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Group Income Protection

Group Income Protection

Provides a continuing income during employee’s absence for illness, injury or disability

Represents 80% of all insured income protection cover in the UK

Used to cover employer’s promise of long term sick pay

Paid through payroll in normal way

Group Critical Illness

Group Critical Illness

Pays a tax free lump sum to employee on diagnosis of one of a defined list of serious medical conditions or on undergoing one of a defined list of surgical procedures

Can be extended to dependants

Increasingly popular under flexible benefits arrangements

Fastest growing group risk benefit

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If you are active in the group risk market and would be interested in gaining a greater share of voice and working more closely with your contemporaries in the industry please get in touch by completing this page.

Benefits of membership:



The opportunity to influence group risk policymaking.



GRiD is a respected voice in the protection sector – as such, membership enhances the status of member organisations.



Privileged access to output from the various working groups, including consultation responses, regulatory updates, employer research and pan industry claims data. GRiD members also gain exclusive access to industry speakers at member meetings.

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