Dependants of employees with insured employer-sponsored death benefits – one of the most popular employee benefits – have received more financial payouts as a result of Covid-19 in the first half of 2021 than in the whole of 2020 – with the average payment over £98k. 

Employer-sponsored group life assurance pays out a benefit following the death of an employee, and in the UK nearly 10 million employees currently have death benefits insured through the group risk market. 

The financial hardship that can follow the death of a loved one can be devastating, and it can impact every area of mental and physical health and wellbeing of those left behind. Employers that offer group life assurance to their staff provide some of the best possible support for wider health and wellbeing. This is one of the most affordable employee benefits, and is also one of the most tangible, and this benefit would have been hugely valued by those that have been affected.

Impact of the second wave 

Overall, in the first half of 2021, the group risk industry supported 1,218 families of employees who died from Covid-19 with group life benefits, this is over 35% more than the 891 families that were supported during 2020.   

The total value of group life benefits paid as a result of Covid-19-related claims stood at £125.7m for H1 2021, compared to £93m for 2020.  

The average lump-sum payment for Covid-19 related claims for H1 2021 was £98,112. 

18% of all group life claims paid by insurers during H1 2021 were related to Covid-19.  This is in line with ONS statistics for England and Wales, where for deaths occurring during H1 2021, Covid-19 made up just under 20% of all deaths in the working-age population.    

The increase in payouts shows the impact that Covid-19 continues to have, and how important it is that companies offer employee benefits that provide financial support to their staff, particularly in light of Covid-19, and we urge all employers to consider offering it.