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What is Group Risk?

Group risk benefits are a useful tool for managing and mitigating some of the risks associated with employing people. They can also help recruit, retain and engage talent and can support the values and culture of an organisation. Group risk benefits allow employers to reinforce their position as a caring employer, throwing a financial lifeline to people when they need it most.

Managing employee risk

Employers may promise certain benefits to employees as part of the contract of employment. Rather than bear all of this risk themselves, many employers choose to take out group risk insurance policies to cover some or all of their liability for death benefits, long term sick pay and critical illness benefits.

Provided in isolation or as part of a wider benefits package, group risk benefits can give employees access to insured financial protection cover they might not be able to either afford or access for themselves.

Group risk benefits are a high value, low cost option for employers looking to offer something more to their staff.

How does group risk work?

Group risk policies are commercial contracts which support employers in meeting their contractual promises and legal obligations to their employees.

The employer is generally the policyholder, pays the premiums and claims are made by the employer in respect of their employees. Generally any claim is paid to the employer (or often the trustees of the pension scheme in the case of group life assurance).

Group risk policies are generally taken out through an adviser who is responsible for helping the employer to decide on the design of the benefit structure, who will be covered by the policy, the suitability of the policy and the selection of a provider.

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.

Group Risk Products

Group Life Assurance

Group Life Assurance

Provides a benefit on an employee’s death

Represents 40% of all insured life cover in the UK

Tax free lump sum up to Lifetime Allowance

Taxable dependants’ pension

Benefits over Lifetime Allowance through “excepted” route

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

Knowledge Centre


54 years ago

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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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